The ruling Fatah Party is maintaining its lead over the Hamas in the run-up to January 25 Palestinian parliamentary elections, despite a wave of chaos gripping the Gaza Strip, according to a poll published Sunday.
Fatah would capture 43 percent of the vote and Hamas 25 percent in the poll of 4,500 Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to the survey by Palestinian pollster Khalil Shikaki.
The poll was taken after an offshoot of Fatah reunited with the party last week. Support for Fatah had slipped during the feud between party veterans and the younger generation, leading to predictions that Hamas, running in parliamentary elections for the first time, could profit from the split and even win.
Nineteen percent of those questioned said they are still undecided as so how they will vote. The margin of error was two percentage points.
A Shikaki poll in mid-December showed that Fatah would get 50 percent and Hamas 32 percent.
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