Elections 2015

Labor holds primaries to elect its Knesset slate

Nine of the top 25 seats on list are already reserved, including for Livni’s Hatnua members; results due Wednesday

Marissa Newman is The Times of Israel political correspondent.

Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog  visits the party's primary headquarters in Holon, January 11, 2015. (Flash90)
Labor Party chairman Isaac Herzog visits the party's primary headquarters in Holon, January 11, 2015. (Flash90)

The Labor Party primaries got under way at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, with some 49,000 voters eligible to submit their vote for the party’s Knesset slate ahead of elections in March.

The results are expected to be announced on Wednesday at 11 a.m..

Thirty-six candidates are in the running, but in accordance with the deal reached between party chairman Isaac Herzog and Hatnua’s Tzipi Livni, five seats have been reserved for Hatnua members, making the competition for the remaining seats fierce.

Party favorites Shelly Yachimovich and Eitan Cabel are expected to go head-to-head for the third spot on the list (with Herzog at the helm and Livni slotted second).

Cabel, Erel Margalit, Merav Michaeli, and newcomer Daniel Atar have reportedly reached a deal among themselves, creating a bloc and offering support to one another.

Slots No. 8, 16, 21, 24 and 25 are reserved for Hatnua members, and slot No. 11 will be saved for a candidate of Herzog’s choosing.

MK Hilik Bar, the party’s secretary general, will receive slot No. 7.

Economist Manuel Trajtenberg, the party’s choice for finance minister, should it be elected to form the next coalition, was also guaranteed a seat, from the 11th or 16th slot.

The Labor-Hatnua list is considered the only real contender to win more seats than Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, according to recent polls, and hopes to form the next coalition.

The Jewish Home party will hold primaries on Wednesday for its Knesset line-up, with only six of the top 20 seats not reserved for members of the Tekuma faction, female candidates, or candidates to be decided at the discretion of chairman Naftali Bennett.

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