Poll Shows No Advantage to Labor-Meretz Union

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Amir Peretz speaks at a Labor-Gesher meeting at the Knesset, Monday. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

As parties on the right negotiate joint lists, the same process is happening on the left – but a poll conducted on behalf of Meretz shows that a joint run between itself and Labor will provide no advantage in the number of Knesset seats either or both parties could win, separately or together.

The poll, published in Ha’aretz, shows that running separately, Meretz would get 4 seats and Labor 5. Running together, a joint list would receive the same number – 9 seats, indicating that nearly all voters of either party would choose a joint list. Stiv Shafir, who was elected to the Knesset on the Democratic Camp ticket, which at its base is Meretz, has indicated that she may run on her own list. If she does, the poll shows, she will not pass the electoral threshold.

While there seems to be no electoral advantage to a joint move, Meretz officials told Ha’aretz that the joint list would help both parties. Four seats, and even five, is “dangerously close” to the electoral threshold, and by running together, both parties can ensure that all votes – and seats – are accounted for.

On the other hand, Labor officials told the newspaper that there was a danger in running with Meretz, which is much farther to the left of Labor. “The idea of voting for Meretz MKs may frighten off Labor voters, who will choose Blue and White, and will also push away Meretz voters who do not identify with Labor. If the poll shows that each party passes the electoral threshold there is no reason for them not to run separately,” they said.