The chances for a joint election run between Labor and Meretz is “very high,” insiders from both parties told Yediot Acharonot Wednesday. After a meeting between Labor head Amir Peretz and Meretz leader Nitsan Horowitz Tuesday night, the two parties are “very close” to a joint run agreement, the report said.
The two parties basically agree on all policy points, the report said. All that remains is to determine the composition of the list and what position the candidates of either party will take on it. That is still being discussed, but in any event, the two parties could decide to run as a “technical bloc” under a single name, and then break up into its components after the election. The party insiders told Yediot Acharonot that many in both parties who had been hesitant about a joint run have changed their minds and are now in favor of the move after the Peretz-Horowitz meeting.
The hope in both parties is that the sum of their votes would be greater than what could be achieved separately. Most polls show both Meretz and Labor hovering around five Knesset seats, but reports have said that internal polls show that the joint party could get as many as 15 seats. The joint run would also provide a defense against competition from Ehud Barak’s Israel Democratic Party. Officials in both Meretz and Labor have been in discussions with Barak as well, the report said – but the connection of Barak’s name with the principal in a major scandal , is giving proponents of that idea a pause, the report added.