Monday, July 29, 2019

Israel and party mergers

First, a quick note, that any post about Boris Johnson will need more time with him in office, as, reactions are taking longer to shake loose than I expected.

Israel has seen a number of party mergers for this election. I'd like to go over them.

First is Likud-Kulanu. The centrist Kulanu party, lead by Moshe Kahlon, a defector from Likud, has agreed to run with Likud in this election as a joint slate. It remains to be seen how solid this agreement will be, and if this will effectively see Kahlon re-join Likud, or the alliance be temporary.

The Joint List of the 4 main Arab parties has been re-established. I can't yet find details, beyond that this re-merger is not going smoothly, with Balad in particular having issues.

Gesher, which failed to cross the threshold at the last election, is in a joint run with Labour.

Ehud Barak, the former PM who has returned leading his own party, has agreed on a joint run with that party that includes Meretz, and the Greens; the latter gaining 1 MK in a defection from Labour after that MK lost the leadership election in June. This joint-slate is called the Democratic Union.

Most recently, the United Right and New Right have announced a joint run as well, but have been explicit about their plans to dis-unite once the new Knesset actually sits.

It is somewhat unlikely that any further mergers will occur, as, these mergers all include parties near the threshold, and thus ideally, through the merger, guarantees those parties seats. The only party left near the threshold, Zehut, rejected joining the Right-wing New United New-Right United-Right alliance, and has no other party with which to form any such merger.

Further unions, such as Labour-Gesher joining with the Democratic Union, or, with Blue and White, are made difficult as such alliances would require a re-negotiation of seat distribution not just between the two factions themselves (IE Labour-Gesher and Gantz-Lapid) but between all the member parts (Labour, Gesher, Gantz, and Lapid) 

Pre-Existing party mergers from the last election, meanwhile, continue. Blue and White is still a merger of Benny Gantz's forces with Yesh Atid. United Right continues to house both the Jewish Home party and Tkuma. UTJ continues to be a long-time coalition between Degel HaTorah and Agudat Yisrael.

In the end, the overall political balance has not changed much from the previous election, but only one or two additional seats is actually needed to break the deadlock, and polls currently Bibi falling behind

Possible Results:
30 - Likud-Kulanu
27 - Blue and White
12 - New United New-Right United-Right Right
11 - Joint List
10 - Democratic Union
8 - Yisrael Beiteinu
8 - Shas
8 - UTJ
6 - Labour-Gesher

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