Labor and Barak party merger would reach 14 seats, endanger Meretz- poll

The right-wing bloc would get a total of 57 seats in this scenario, and the left-center bloc 55, with Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu tilting the scale.

By YANIR COZIN/MAARIV, AMIR BENDER/MAARIV
July 5, 2019 09:59
1 minute read.
New Labor leader Amir Peretz, July 3rd, 2019

New Labor leader Amir Peretz, July 3rd, 2019. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

 
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A poll conducted for Radio 103FM published Friday morning concluded that if elections for the 22nd Knesset were held today, a united Labor party headed by Amir Peretz together with Ehud Barak's party would receive 14 Knesset seats.

According to the findings of the survey, if the parties run separately, Labor will receive six seats, while Barak's party would get four seats. In this case, the breakdown of the other mandates would be: Likud - 32, Blue and White - 30, The Joint Arab Party - 8, Yisrael Beytenu - 8, Shas - 7, The Union of Right-wing Parties - 6, The New Right (led by Bennett) - 4 and Meretz - 4.

The right-wing bloc would get a total of 57 seats in this scenario, and the left-center bloc 55, with Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu tilting the scale.

In the case of a merger between Barak and Labor, the united party would receive 14 Knesset seats, hurting Blue and White, which would lose 3 Knesset seats, and possibly spelling disaster for Meretz, which oscillates around the threshold.

The poll was conducted by the Smith Institute under the management of Rafi Smith with a representative sample of 700 people.

Against the backdrop of the findings, it seems that Peretz is examining such a union seriously. In an interview he gave KAN Bet, he was asked if he would be willing to give up the leadership in favor of a union with Barak. Peretz replied that "If it turns out that being number two in Barak's party will bring the most seats, we will do so."

Sources close to Peretz who spoke with the Jerusalem Post's sister publication Maariv made it clear that Peretz had no intention of giving up the top spot in advance, and that everything depends on who will succeed in bringing more seats to the bloc.

Peretz is expected to meet former Hatnua chairman Tzipi Livni and Gesher head Orly Levy-Abecassis with the goal to join more forces from the Center and the Left to increase the bloc's power. "I plan to meet all the people next week, from [Blue and White head Benny] Gantz to [Joint Arab List head] Ayman Odeh," Peretz said.

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