Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party reached the top spot in a Panels Research poll taken for The Jerusalem Post and its Hebrew sister newspaper, Ma’ariv Sof Hashavua, on Thursday for the first time since Labor and Hatnua joined forces on December 10 to create the Zionist Union.
The poll found that the Likud would win 25 seats, the Zionist Union 24, Bayit Yehudi 14, the Joint Arab List 12, Yesh Atid 11, United Torah Judaism and Koolanu eight, Shas seven, Meretz six, and Yisrael Beytenu five. The parties polled that did not cross the 3.25-percent electoral threshold were Green Leaf and both Yahad Ha’am Itanu and Otzma Yehudit.
Last week, the Zionist Union was ahead of the Likud by two seats, and two weeks ago the lead was three.
The percentage of respondents calling themselves “undecided” fell from 30% to 18%.
The reason for the rise in support for the Likud was apparently the attack on Israel’s northern border Wednesday, which occurred while the poll was being taken. The poll found that the percentage of respondents who want Netanyahu to remain prime minister rose from 38% last week to 44%, tying the highest- ever result with a poll on January 1, when rockets were fired from Gaza.