Herzog, Yacimovich face off in Labor race with slim turnout

As of 9:30 p.m., voter turnout at 52%; candidates call on supporters to come vote; polls to close at 10 p.m.

Yacimovich vs. Herzog Labor race 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Yacimovich vs. Herzog Labor race 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A sleepy Labor leadership race that failed to attract attention will come to a close Thursday when 55,113 party members will be eligible to vote in 125 polling stations nationwide.
As of 9:30 pm, voter turnout was at 52%.
The polls were scheduled to be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Even the night before the primary, none of the three nightly news broadcasts reported in their first half hour Wednesday on the race to lead the party that dominated Israeli politics in the state’s first three decades.
The votes will be counted in Holon and will stream into Tel Aviv’s Beit Sokolow starting at 11 p.m. Final results will be available in the middle of the night, when the winner is expected to come to Beit Sokolow to deliver a victory speech.
Labor will employ private investigators to keep the election clean. The two candidates, MKs Shelly Yacimovich and Isaac Herzog, spent Wednesday calling their supporters and encouraging them to come out to vote.
“We will make history,” Yacimovich told reporters at her campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv. “For the first time in many years, Labor will elect the same leader for a second term.
We have a strong lead, but the race starts zero-zero and the results are decided in the ballot box.”
Labor has replaced its leader six times since 2000. If Yacimovich emerges victorious, she will be the first Labor head to win back-to-back leadership races since current President Shimon Peres in the 1980s.
Herzog told reporters at his campaign’s Tel Aviv headquarters that Labor needed a leader who could bring stability to the party and build it as an alternative to the Likud that could lead the Center-Left bloc back to power.
“Unlike the stars that shot through Labor’s skies and disappeared as if they never existed, I am not a meteor and not a ‘talent’ but rather an experienced leader,” Herzog said.
“Tomorrow night Labor will have a new chairman."