Poll: Meretz and Labor Get Same Number of Seats With or Without Merger

Findings contradict Labor leaders’ claim that a union would hurt both parties

Democratic Union lawmakers Tamar Zandberg, Nitzan Horowitz, Stav Shaffir, Ilan Gilon and Yair Golan arrive at a consultation with President Reuven Rivlin, September 23, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

A poll commissioned by Meretz to determine the consequences of a possible union with the Labor-Gesher slate reveals that there would be no difference in the total number of seats whether the parties ran separately or together.

According to the poll, if Meretz runs alone it would get four seats, barely crossing the electoral threshold, while Labor-Gesher would get five. A united list would get nine seats.

This survey seemingly contradicts claims by Labor Party leaders that uniting the two parties would lead to a loss of three seats between them, because a merger would drive Labor voters to Kahol Lavan, while Meretz voters who don’t identify with Labor wouldn’t vote for the list at all. Kahol Lavan, meanwhile, has been pressuring the two parties to unite, arguing that if they run separately, one or both will not make it into the Knesset.

Another interesting finding is that a green party led by Stav Shaffir would not affect the left-wing seat total at all, because that party won’t pass the electoral threshold. If Shaffir would join Meretz through the Democratic Union, that wouldn’t add seats to that slate, either.

The telephone and internet poll, taken earlier this week by the Midgam Institute, questioned 600 potential voters, and has a margin of error of 4 percent.