Haaretz Poll Finds Laborites Skeptical of Ayalon-Peretz Pact

50 percent of respondents call alliance 'political opportunism,' only 32 percent view it as 'legitimate cooperation.'

Most Labor Party members disapprove of the alliance forged by Ami Ayalon and Amir Peretz ahead of the second round of the party's leadership primary, scheduled to take place next Tuesday.

According to a Haaretz-Dialog poll conducted on Wednesday among a representative sample of registered Labor members, 50 percent defined the Ayalon-Peretz alliance as a "deal of political opportunism." Only 32 percent chose "legitimate cooperation."

The poll was supervised by Professor Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University's statistics department.

Even a third of those who voted, or plan to vote, for Ayalon back the harsher definition. Maybe that is why he has failed to gain a significant edge over Barak.

As reported yesterday in Haaretz, if the primary were held today, Ayalon would get 47 percent of the votes and Barak 43 percent - effectively a draw.

When Labor members were asked which alliance they would prefer to see in their party, Barak-Ayalon or Ayalon-Peretz, the majority (44 percent) chose Ayalon-Barak. Only 27 percent would like to see what in fact happened a week ago: an Ayalon-Peretz alliance, which was designed to deliver Ayalon a victory over Barak.

Another question put to Laborites was "would you like to see Amir Peretz as a senior partner in the party's leadership after the primary?" On this, respondents split equally, with 43 percent saying yes and 43 percent saying no.

Five days remain until the primary. The sense in the party is that afterward, Labor will once again be split into camps, as it was under Peres and Rabin. This time, it will be the Barak/Pines/Ben-Eliezer camp versus the Ayalon/Peretz camp. And whichever camp leads the party will have to contend with opposition and mutinies from its rival.