September 16, 2019

Election Handbook: The Left Remains Split

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

Left parties stay apart.

 

Main Political News

Labor, Meretz and Democratic Israel will not merge. Labor’s Peretz recruited Orly Levi Abekasis as his running mate.

Notable Labor MK Yachimovich to exit politics.

Barak vows to keep running. Calls for him to drop from the race.

On the right: Ayelet Shaked getting closer to joining Bennet for another run, with or without a merger with the United Right. In case of a merger, she demands to be the top leader.

 

Developments to Watch

 Iran: The political campaign could dramatically change if tensions in the Gulf keep rising.

Merger on left: What will the disappointed voters who wanted a “big left” do? For some of them, the new face of Labor (social focus), the problematic situation of Barak’s party (barely makes it across the electoral threshold), the hardcore leftism of Meretz (Meretz is Meretz) – all mean a dilemma. Blue and White might get a chance to get some of these voters back.

Labor: Peretz bet on a social agenda, with him and Levy-Abekasis followed by other combative “social” MK’s (Shafir, Shmuli). His rivals say that he wants to be a member of the next Netanyahu government. He is forced to deny it – but without much passion.

Merger of Arab parties: Last week we said this was coming. But it is not yet coming. The Arabs can’t agree on a few minor things, and while the polls keep asking about them as if the merger is a done deal, in two weeks we might discover that there are two parties rather than one.

 

The Blocs and Their Meaning

The two blocs, one of parties for Netanyahu and one of parties against him, are still stuck bellow the 60-seat line.

 

 

A Party to Watch

How is Lieberman doing? Here are three average: of the last 20 polls, the last 10, and the last 5. As you can see, the more recent the polls, the slightly higher the average. So, Lieberman is still getting stronger. If Netanyahu thought that he can weaken Israel Beiteinu, he was wrong – for now. Can Netanyahu get to 61 seats when Lieberman is getting stronger? That’s definitely a great challenge.