February 17, 2020

Election Handbook: The Left’s Small Bang

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

Small merger on the Left.


Main Political News

Meretz, Democratic Israel, and a notable MK from Labor formed a new list: The Democratic Camp.

Meretz’ Horovitz will lead the merged party, Shafir from Labor second, former PM Ehud Barak will be number 10.

On the right: The New Right and the United Right did not yet reach an agreement. PM Netanyahu opposes a right merger.


Developments to Watch

Polls. Will the new left gain in the polls? We should expect a jump after the merger, but seriousness must dictate patience. It will take a few weeks before we know if this new entity is a significant contender.

Labor: It is not clear if Labor can join the new entity and under what terms. If not, it is in real danger of losing many of its voters.

Barak: A former PM doesn’t join a race to be a number 10 in a small to medium party. It is likely that Barak does not intend to stay in the fray for much longer after the election.


The Blocs and Their Meaning

We must wait for more polls to know which parties lose and gain following the left’s merger. But we should not expect a shift in the blocs. In other words: Likud voters are not likely to move leftward because of a Horovitz-Shafir-Barak merger.

Note that the updated numbers no longer enable Likud and Blue and White to form a unity government on their own.



A Party to Watch

New polls will be conducted today with the new party in place. For now, here is a calculation that includes the expected seats of Meretz, Democratic Israel plus one (what Shafir takes away from Labor). This is a highly conservative calculation. I will update it tomorrow when new numbers get in.