chapter
The Losers: Who Didn’t Make It into the Knesset?
WithYael Yishai
Pages 20

Loser parties (LPs) appeared on the scene as early as the elections to the First Knesset. Since 1949 they have been a recurrent phenomenon in each electoral contest, with a tendency to multiply over time. In the eighteen electoral contests held in Israel since its establishment their total number has risen to 178, but the figure has fluctuated over time. Niche parties presumably raise issues that are hidden into the political agenda. The mobilization of bias practiced by ruling elites, also constrains and censors the emergence of new issues. LPs running in the 2009 electoral campaign endorsed a variety of causes, most of which were well covered by establishment parties. The platforms of the four largest political parties served as a basis for analysis. The profile of the LP supporters, as gathered from the survey data, reveals social marginality.