Fewer mandates in sight for religious unity party

The unification of the religious parties, including the National Union, the National Religious Party (NRP), Shas and Agudat Yisreal was to experience an electoral failure, according to a survey conducted by the National Union. According to the survey, the unified parties were to receive 23 mandates running together, as opposed to 26 mandates if they were to run separately. Meanwhile, the National Union and NRP announced Tuesday morning that they were on the verge of an agreement to run together, Army Radio reported. "Today we begin a historic step on behalf of religious Zionism," said NRP chairman Zvulun Orlev. According to Orlev, "We are discussing the broad unification of the religious public from the center and the right."