Poll: Barak and Peretz Unification Would Hurt Gantz, Meretz

Amir Peretz. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL/Flash90)

In the upcoming elections, a party led by Ehud Barak would get 6 Knesset seats, while one led by Amir Peretz would get 4. But running together, Barak’s as yet unnamed party and Peretz’s Labor would get 14 seats, a poll on Radio 103 conducted by the Smith organization showed.

The votes for that party would come from Benny Gantz’s Blue and White Party and from Meretz, with the former losing three seats that it would have had if Barak and Peretz ran separately, and the latter teetering on the edge of the electoral threshold.

Without that unification, Blue and White would get 30 seats. The Likud would come in with 32, the United Arab List 11, Shas 8, United Torah Judaism 7, United Right List 6, New Right (led by Naftali Bennett) 6, and Meretz 4. Yisrael Beytenu would again play the spoiler: A coalition of all parties currently in Binyamin Netanyahu’s caretaker government would get 57 seats, while the center-left coalition would get 52.

In either a right-wing or left-wing government scenario, no government could be formed without Liberman and/or the Arab party and/or the chareidim, two groups Liberman is unlikely to join in a coalition with.

On Thursday, Peretz said that he was “prepared to be Barak’s number two.” Speaking to Reshet Bet, Peretz said he wanted to iron out old misgivings with Barak. “I want there to be a complete discussion and examination of the issues. I am prepared to work with him. The point is to increase the size of our camp and take votes from the right,” Peretz said.

“I intend to meet with everyone next week, from Benny Gantz to Aymen Odeh,” Peretz said, naming the heads of the Blue and White and United Arab List parties. “We have one objective and that is to increase the number of MKs in our camp. The issues of personalities will be secondary,” he added.