Labor Party members were casting their votes Monday for the second time this month in a runoff between the two candidates still standing in the race for the party chairmanship.
The first round, last Tuesday, saw the ousting of Isaac Herzog and the victory of left-wing lawmaker and former trade union boss Amir Peretz, who garnered 32 percent (10,141 votes), followed by newcomer Avi Gabbay, a former minister and business leader, with 27% (8,395).
Monday’s runoff is necessary because neither candidate took 40% of the votes during the first round.
Electronic voting stations opened at 11 a.m. and were due to close at 9 p.m, after which the results were expected within the hour.
Since the first-round vote, the two men have been campaigning for the support of the 41% of Labor voters who had picked candidates Herzog, Erel Margalit and Omer Barlev in the first round.
Herzog and Margalit have since announced they were backing Peretz, while ex-Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich is siding with Gabbay.
Peretz and Gabbay are both of Moroccan extraction, but the similarity ends there: A former Labor leader and defense minister, Peretz is a familiar face in the party with a trade unionist background, while Gabbay — a former CEO of the Bezeq telecommunications giant and non-MK minister for the Kulanu party — is a new recruit to the social democratic-minded Labor party.
Opinion polls in the past week have indicated that neither Peretz nor Gabbay would be able to lift the Labor party out of third place, behind Netanyahu’s Likud and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid.
Marissa Newman contributed to this report.