Unity saves left, poll finds

Amir Peretz and Nitzan Horowitz / Photo: PR

The first poll results published after Labor and Meretz announced their merger gives them no additional strength but puts them safely above the minimum threshold.

The united Labor-Gesher-Meretz list will be the fourth largest faction in the Knesset after the election on March 2, according to a poll conducted by Channel 12 News, released yesterday. This is the first poll to be published following the announcement that the left-wing parties will run jointly in the election. The implication is that the merger of the parties does not bring additional votes, since Labor-Gesher and Meretz were each projected to win 4-5 seats beforehand, but it certainly puts them safely above the minimum vote threshold.

At this stage it looks as though on the right of the political divide there will also be a merged list comprising Habayit Hayehudi, led by Rafi Peretz, Ha'ihud Haleumi, led by Bezalel Smotrich, and Otzma Yehudit, led by Itamar Ben-Gvir, which together are projected to win five Knesset seats. Hayamin Hahadash (New Right), headed by Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked, is set to separately, and is projected to win six seats.

Yisrael Beitenu, led by Avigdor Liberman, receives seven seats in this latest poll. This is the only party of the right that is not part of Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing block, and it prevented him from forming a government on the basis of the block after the last election in September, demanding a unity government with Benny Gantz's Blue and White instead. At this stage it looks as though Liberman intends to try to force the formation of a unity government after the upcoming election as well, and with seven seats he is still able to do so.

The following is the average result of five recent polls:

Blue and White 34 seats
Likud 31
Joint Arab List 13
Labor-Gesher-Meretz 9
Shas 8
United Torah Judaism 7
Yisrael Beitenu 7
New Right 6
Union of Right-Wing Parties 5

The polls included in the average are:

Channel 12, January 13
Ma'ariv, January 3
Channel 12, January 2
Channel 13, January 2
Kan, January 2

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on January 14, 2020

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2020

Amir Peretz and Nitzan Horowitz / Photo: PR
Amir Peretz and Nitzan Horowitz / Photo: PR
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