Voters seem to be rallying around the major party in their bloc, and the effects on each side of the political map are similar but with some key differences.
Shortly after this election season began in December, an event reminiscent of the 2012-2013 campaign took place: A major party merged with one if its satellite parties, resulting in a surge in the polls. Then it was Likud and Yisrael Beytenu; this time it was Labor, led by Isaac Herzog, with Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua.
The major difference, though, is that last time, it made Likud Beytenu, as the merger was called, the clear front-runner. This time, the formation of the Zionist Union – the name Labor-Hatnua decided upon after much deliberation – ensured that the Likud is no longer the front-runner; but rather than almost guaranteeing a Herzog- Livni rotation at the helm of the new government, it polarized the political field. Continue reading