November 13, 2019

Election Handbook: Labor Searching for Leader (again…)

Avi Gabbai, the new leader of Israel's centre-left Labour party, delivers his victory speech after winning the Labour party primary runoff, at an event in Tel Aviv, Israel July 10, 2017. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

We call this format a Timesaver Guide to Israel’s Coming Elections. This will be a usual feature on Rosner’s Domain until next Election Day, September 17. We hope to make it short, factual, devoid of election hype, and of he-said-she-said no news, unimportant inside baseball gossip.


Bottom Line

It’s an early phase of the campaign. Parties begin to reorganize.


Main News

String of politicians and columnists on the right begin talking about a possible Netanyahu-less future.

Polls show former Minister of Justice Shaked is the candidate most right-religious voters want as the head of a united right-of-Likud party. She did not yet announce her future steps.

Labor party head Avi Gabbai decided to let someone else take charge. His number two, General Russo, quit politics. MK’s Peretz, Shmuli, Shafir, expected to battle for the top job.

Meretz Party leader Tami Zandberg faces a challenger, former MK Nitzan Horovitz.

Legal cases against Benjamin and Sarah Netanyahu advance in the legal system.

First gay minister appointed by the PM to lead Justice Ministry (and signal that Likud does not dance to haredi tune).


Developments to Watch

Themes: Will the calls for a rightwing coalition without Netanyahu continue to gain momentum?

Personalities: Is Ehud Barak going to run for Labor leadership? Where is Shaked going to land as a candidate?

Political: Will we see any movement in the polls?


The Blocs and Their Meaning

For now, one poll prophesied a possibility of a rightwing coalition without Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu. It is the latest poll, so whether this is a new trend is still early to say. Netanyahu aims for such coalition, as Lieberman intensifies his attacks on Netanyahu (personality cult) and the ultra-Orthodox (his goal is to attract rightwing voters who dislike the Haredis).

We added a Blue and White coalition to the graph, with B&W, Labor and Meretz. Obviously, such coalition is not realistic at this time. So it will have to include Lieberman (but he says he will not join it), or Haredis (ditto), or Arabs. In fact, only by adding two of these three components we can begin to see a B&W coalition.



A Party to Watch

Yes, it is early, but Blue and White is in some trouble not only because it cannot form a coalition. It also seems to be losing voters. Not many of them, but some. Here are the latest polls: