Abstract:A study was conducted to explore the construction of meaning of elections and, in particular, electoral mandates—policy directives sent from electorates to their elected leaders. Data were obtained from analysis of the five national elections in Israel between 1992 and 2003, a period characterized by numerous turnarounds in government and policy, landslide election results, and significant public opinion shifts. Findings revealed that in no election were all the necessary conditions for mandate election interpretations and actual postelection interpretations fulfilled, and no poll was defined as a mandate election. Findings suggested that mandate elections are rare and difficult to pinpoint. Findings are discussed in detail.