Forty-four candidates compete for the top positions on the list in the hope of becoming the 21st Knesset, while the party continues to fall in the polls.
Since voter turnout is expected to be low, there have been political deals in recent days and lists of recommended candidates are likely to play a major role in the primaries.
Several groups, such as the Histadrut Labor Federation and prominent kibbutzim activists, have distributed lists of recommended candidates for their electorate, although most of these lists already include older members of the party who already work in the Knesset. MK's Itzik Shmuli, Shelly Yachimovich, Amir Peretz, Stav Shaffir and Omer Bar-Lev are all favorites to put the top five on the list, while MK's Revital Swid and Merav Michaeli are close by and also perform well.
Labor & # 39; s top 10 has only seven available places. The first place is reserved for party chairman Avi Gabbay, while Gabbay also has the second and tenth place reserved for candidates of his choice.
Gabbay himself decided not to publicly release his own list of recommended candidates, but privately he recommended six candidates: Shmuli, Yachimovich, Peretz, Shaffir, Bar-Lev and Michaeli. He waits for the results of the primaries to decide whether he wants to use his two reserved seats. Labor officials who estimate that Gabbay will not use his reserved seats unless he can recruit a prominent figure to join the party.
Despite the pessimistic polls, some of the new candidates in the Labor race have launched an intensive campaign, although their chances of finding a realistic place on the list are still very low.
Among the new candidates are some prominent figures and close associates of members of the higher party, including TV presenter Emilie Moatti, who has close ties with Gabbay, and Yair Fink, who has shared his campaign with Yachimovich. Other new candidates are Rabbi Gilad Kariv, who leads the reform movement in Israel; journalist Henrique Cymerman; Gil Beilin, who is the son of former minister Yossi Beilin; and Michal Chernovitzky, who formed the ultra-orthodox faction in Labor.
Within the party there are several interesting political struggles. MK & # 39; s Yachimovich and Peretz, both former leaders of the party, were once allies, but have recently become bitter rivals. Each hopes to score higher than the other in a battle for status and prestige, which could also indicate whether they will be able to play for the presidency of the party again in the future.
Meanwhile, MK Eitan Cabel fights for his place in the party and claims that he pays a political prize for his campaign to replace Labor Chairman Gabbay.
MK & # 39; s Shmuli and Shaffir, both leaders of the social protest of 2011, are secret rivals, even though they do not express this rivalry. Shmuli is considered very popular and strong within the party and strives for the first place on the list.
MK & # 39; s Swid and Michaeli meanwhile also fight for the place of the third most powerful woman in the party, after Yachimovich and Shaffir.