One of the most consistent things about elections and the Jewish community is that the vast majority of observant Jews vote for the right-wing party and the vast majority of non-observant Jews vote for the left-wing party.
For many, there seems to be an invisible connection between religious observance and politics. Strict Orthodox observance pushes one to the right while heterodox or non-observance push one to the left. Some might explain the non-religious leftist trend as being due to the form of religion they do accept, one in which social justice and other politically correct values are treated as authentically Jewish. This means that leftist parties reflect what they believe are ideals consonant with Judaism.
However, that doesn't seem to explain why Orthodox Jews generally vote to the right. Now, not all observant Jews do. There's a piece in Yediot Acharanot today from a self-styled left-wing Orthodox Jew on why there should be no connection between one's religion and one's politics.
I think an analysis of what consitutes left wing and right wing nowadays is in order to understand this phenomenon.
The classical definition of liberalism goes as follows:
Central to the classical liberalism of the nineteenth century is a commitment to the liberty of individual citizens. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of assembly were core commitments of classical liberalism, as was the underlying conception of the proper role of just government as the protection of the liberties of individual citizens. Also central to classical liberalism was a commitment to a system of free markets as the best way to organize economic life.
Curiously, trying to track down a definition of classic conservatism is far harder. At any rate, perusing the definition above leads to a clear but potentially confusing conclusion - the values mentioned are not associated with liberals today but with conservatives! After all, when one looks at the greatest assaults on freedom of thought, religiou, press and association, the sources all string from what are now defined as left-wing politically correct groups. Somewhere in the last 100 years, liberals and conservatives swapped definitions.
Unfortunately most people didn't get the memo on this. If you assert to someone who today identifies as a "liberal" that he must therefore be in favour of censorship, social engineering and thought control, he would vigorously disagree. If you defined a conservative as someone who advocated a laissez-faire approach to society, you'd be told you were wrong. However, this is precisely where liberals and conservatives find themselves in today's society.
Seen this way, the voting breakdown in the Jewish community now seems to make sense. Consider that most dominant secular views are diametrically opposed to traditional Jewish ones. Pick a topic - abortion, euthanasia, birth control - and one quickly sees a great divide between "them" and "us". For non-religious Jews, the divide isn't there. Having defined being Jewish as being a good "liberal" there is no contradiction in voting for left-wing parties. On the other hand, right wing parties that oppose the leftist positions resonate more with traditional Jews.
So can an Orthodox Jew vote for a left-wing party? For me, that's an entirely separate issue. It is my personal opinion that most left-wing groups, especially when it comes to Israel, represent nearly or openly anti-Semitic positions vis a vis Israel's right to exist within secure and defined borders. If one can find a left wing party that preaches Jewish values regarding social justice like helping the poor but that opposes abortion on demand and supports Israel against its enemies, then one might have a case. But since most left wing parties accept "the total package" it makes no sense for a traditional Jew to support such a group.