The future of the Zionist left alliance between Labor, Gesher and Meretz, is in doubt after a dismal election showing, reported Haaretz.
According to the paper, leaders MKs Amir Peretz (Labor), Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) and Orli Levi-Abekasis (Gesher), "are expected to meet soon to decide the future of their three-party alliance".
Haaretz noted that after a "string of failures" by Meretz and Labor over three election cycles, "both parties wonder whether they could run on their own in the next election", while "there are those who are already working behind the scenes to lay the foundations for a new left-wing party".
Meanwhile, Levi-Abekasis is now "the target of wooing by Likud, based on estimates that she might defect and grant Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the support he needs to form a new and stable governing coalition," the same report added.
Haaretz described the left Zionist parties as having been "dealt a heavy blow"; Labor won just three seats, while Meretz secured just two or three seats (pending final results).
Labor MK Itzik Shmuli has already openly criticised his party's election campaign: "If we blame everyone else instead of looking inwards with honesty, we'll never return to what we were," he wrote on social media.
"Seven seats for three parties, with only three going to Labor, is the most miserable result ever attained. Were it not for the union I advocated, the Zionist left would have been erased," he added.
Peretz was apparently "convinced just before the election that he had momentum", the paper reported, with the Labor leader believing the list was on target for 10-11 seats.
Haaretz noted that "sources close to Peretz said they thought he would not resign as party chief despite the debacle at the polls."