The Impact of Undecided Voters in Israeli Elections

Proceedings of The 6th International Conference on Social Sciences in the 21st Century

Year: 2023



The Impact of Undecided Voters in Israeli Elections

Yaron Katz




This paper examines the impact of undecided voters in elections campaigns in Israel. The question asked here is if undecided voters can break the political dead-lock which became evident in five consecutive elections in just two years – between 2019 and 2022. The paper argues that the crucial role of undecided voters is the result of four main developments. The first is the multi-party parliamentary system, which allows the voters to swing between different parties and influence on handful of options to form coalition government. The parliamentary system emphasizes the excessive and crucial role of small parties to determine who will be in power – which means that they are in a position to impose their extreme ideology on the entire society. The second is that participation in elections is constantly declining, increasing the impact of motivated voters who follow the campaigns closely before making their final decision. The fact that this audience is persuaded by specific events and not by ideology or social identity allows to maximize the impact of their vote. The third is related to technological and cultural changes. Digital and social media have become popular among Israeli young people and first time voters, allowing them to promote new social and political behavior and bypass the censorship of traditional media and the traditional ideology of non-first time voters and the old political establishment.

keywords: elections, political deadlock, undecided voters, campaigns, parties