Prior to the elections, two major alliances were formed; Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda united to form the Alignment, whilst Herut and the Liberal Party had formed the Gahal alliance towards the end of the previous Knesset session. However, both Mapai and the Liberal Party had been hit by breakaway factions, the Ben-Gurion led Rafi and the Independent Liberals (largely composed of former Progressive Party members) respectively.
A new Mapai-affiliated Arab party, Cooperation and Brotherhood was formed to contest the election, whilst the Arab Socialist List was prevented from running by the Central Elections Committee due to its links with the banned al-Ard organisation. Peace activist Abie Nathan entered a party list, Nes.
|National Religious Party||107,966||8.9||11||-1|
|Independent Liberals ¹||45,299||3.8||5||New|
|Progress and Development ³||23,430||1.9||2||0|
|Poalei Agudat Yisrael||22,066||1.8||2||0|
|Cooperation and Brotherhood ³||16,464||1.3||2||0|
|HaOlam HaZeh - Koah Hadash||14,124||1.2||1||New|
|Movement for Brotherhood||11,244||0.9||0||New|
|Source: Nohlen et al.|
¹ Rafi, Mapai and Ahdut HaAvoda merged into the Labor Party in 1968, although David Ben-Gurion (Rafi) became an independent. In 1969 the Labor Party formed an alliance with Mapam also named the Alignment. In addition, Yizhar Harari left the Independent Liberals to join the Alignment.
² Four MKs broke away from Gahal to establish the Free Centre
³ Progress and Development and Cooperation and Brotherhood merged to form Cooperation and Development, which then broke up into the two original parties, the Druze Party and Jewish-Arab Brotherhood, each with a single seat.
The sixth Knesset started with Levi Eshkol's Alignment forming the thirteenth government on 12 January 1966. His coalition included the National Religious Party, Mapam, the Independent Liberals, Poalei Agudat Yisrael, Progress and Development and Cooperation and Brotherhood, and had eighteen ministers. Kadish Luz of the Alignment retained his position as Knesset Speaker. At the end of August, 1966 the new Knesset at Givat Ram in Jerusalem was opened. When the Six-Day War broke out on 5 June 1967, Gahal and Rafi joined the coalition to form a national unity government with 21 ministers. The government was ended by Eshkol's death on 26 February 1969.
Golda Meir of the Alignment formed the fourteenth government, also a national unity government, on 17 March 1969. The coalition partners were Gahal, the National Religious Party, the Independent Liberals, Progress and Development and Cooperation and Brotherhood.
The sixth Knesset is notable for being the only one in which a party has ever held a majority of the seats by itself. By the end of the session, the merger of Mapam and Rafi into the Alignment left it with 63 seats (53% of the total). Although the party came close to equalling the feat in the 1969 elections, when it won 56 seats (which is still the best electoral performance on record), no party has managed it since.