Livni and Herzog
Livni and HerzogFlash90

Hatnua chairman Tzipi Livni and Labor chairman Yitzhak Herzog officially announced a joint list Wednesday, forming a leftist bloc ahead of the upcoming elections after weeks of negotiations.

Herzog emphasized in an evening press conference that the bloc could bring economic change to Israel. 

"The public asks every day, and every month, where it will get money for the month," Herzog said in an evening press conference. "The public has been harassed by six years of Binyamin Netanyahu." 

Herzog pledged that the pact would follow "the values of the Declaration of Independence" and emphasize democracy, as well as economic prosperity. 

Herzog stated that if Hatnua-Labor - running on a joint list - won the elections and formed a coalition, Herzog would become Prime Minister for the first two years, and Livni would serve the last two years. 

"Come with us on a journey, on a journey of hope," Herzog concluded. "Together, we can win." 

Livni then took the podium, saying that Herzog "will be a fantastic prime minister." 

The pact was made "on the ability to unite the entire true Zionist movement," Livni said, emphasizing that the two parties would be working very closely together and united more or less as one. 

Livni also spoke about her and Herzog's parents, saying that their parents came from very different backgrounds politically, but that both their families provided them with a strong sense of Zionism.

She added that the pact will work "against right-wing extremists," referring to Likud and Jewish Home, "an opportunity to return Israel to itself, to return to ourselves as a state." 

She also accused the "right wing" parties of "cynically exploiting Zionist values," calling herself "centrist." 

Livni specifically addressed the housing crisis, pledging to give hope to young people and immigrants who are left without affordable options.

"We know not only how to speak about terror, but how to deal with it with strength," Livni said of the security situation. "We will deal with threats against us, and not succumb to inaction." 

"Today is established a centrist counter to the extreme right," Livni concluded. "Today we give an opportunity for that mission." 

Big plans

Herzog stated in question-answer session after the conference that he "stands to be the Prime Minister after these elections," dodging questions over what would happen if Likud does win. 

Livni added that she is "determined" to prevent another right-wing government after the 19th Knesset, adding that Likud - of which Livni was once a part - has "moved to the extreme right." 

"These two parties will change the face of the State of Israel," she said. 

Herzog added that it is a "dramatic political move" that is the "only way to make a new concept" for the government and "for the citizens of Israel," and that it would be the key to make a coalition after the elections. 

Livni added as well that the pact "is not only technical, but for the sake of progress." 

Livni denied that she had negotiated with other parties amid rumors of a war between Herzog and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid over Hatnua's cooperation, after a Channel 10 reporter implied that Livni had even spoken to Kulanu party leader Moshe Kahlon. 

Leftist government?

A poll released Monday found that a pact between Labor and Hatnua could see it win the most seats in the 20th Knesset.

According to the poll, which surveyed some 500 respondents, the Labor-Hatnua pact would win 23 Knesset seats, edging out Likud's 21. Jewish Home would come third with 18 seat, while all of the "centrist" parties - including Moshe Kahlon's new party, Avigdor Liberman's shifting Yisrael Beytenu, and Yesh Atid - would gain nine seats each.

United Torah Judaism would win eight seats, Shas would win seven, Meretz would win six and the Arab parties (United Arab List, Balad, and Hadash) would win 10 seats altogether.

Livni has said recently that she is "ready to be Prime Minister" - an option only possible with a join list, as recent polls have indicated that Hatnua would not make the minimum vote threshold for the Knesset without the deal.