Amir Peretz
Amir PeretzPhoto by Flash90

The Labor and Meretz parties are on the verge of forming a joint ticket for the September 17th Knesset election, following a meeting between the newly minted Labor chief, Amir Peretz, and the new Meretz chairman, Nitzan Horowitz.

At the end of their meeting, the two left-wing leaders reached an agreement on all basic principles, laying the foundation for an alliance between the two parties, either as a comprehensive union of Meretz and Labor, or as a technical bloc which would allow the two parties to split up again after the election.

The two parties had considered such an alliance prior to the April 9th election, but then-Labor chairman Avi Gabbay rejected the proposal, citing internal polls saying the move would not bring a net gain in votes.

Peretz and Horowitz are expected to also approach Ehud Barak, chairman of the newly-established Democratic Israel party, to expand the left-wing alliance further.

Barak has already signaled his willingness to join up with other left-wing factions, saying he would be willing to waive claims to the top spot on a left-wing alliance.

A poll released Tuesday by the Midgam agency found that if the three parties ran together, they would win 15 seats, compared to the six and four currently held by Labor and Meretz respectively.

The alliance would not strengthen the left-wing camp as a whole, however, according to the poll, and would weaken the center-left Blue and White party, giving the Likud an advantage.