Likud could still prevail over Hatnua head Tzipi Livni's pact with Labor, according to a new poll released Friday - with a major gain over the leftist bloc that contradicts recent polls putting Labor ahead by several mandates.
Likud would win 25 mandates if elections were held today, according to the survey published by the Geocartography Institute. By contrast, the Labor-Hatnua pact would win just 18 seats - a far cry from the major wins predicted in other polls, and four seats less than a previous poll held by the institute on December 9.
Interesting, Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu party would become the third strongest party in the Knesset, with 12 seats, up from ten in the December 9 survey.
Jewish Home would gain fourth place with 11 seats, signifying a drop from its current 12; United Torah Judiasm would also gain 11 seats, up from ten; Shas, despite internal conflict between MKs Aryeh Deri and Eli Yishai, would win ten seats, up from six.
Below that, Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu is projected to gain nine seats in the 20th Knesset, up from eight - whereas Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid fell to eight seats in the Knesset from its current 19.
The poll, as reported by Walla!, did not list results for several of Israel's smaller political parties, including Meretz, the Arab parties (United Arab List and Balad), Hadash, Kadima, and Otzma Yehudit.
The Geocartography Institute poll stands in stark contrast to other surveys in the Israeli press recently, including a Panels Politics poll for Maariv which gives Labor the win at 24 mandates against Likud's 20.
That poll indicated, however, that the majority of Israelis would nonetheless prefer a right-wing government with a coalition including the hareidi parties.
A similar poll by the same institute revealed earlier this week that the results may influence the outcome of elections in real-time - as several polls indicated that Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party would not have reached the minimum Knesset threshold of 3.5% of the vote without a pact with Labor, which was then subsequently forged Wednesday night after weeks of negotiations.
Meanwhile, the jury appears to be out on rumors of multiple pacts forming between parties, as reports differ on whether Likud and Jewish Home are due to sign an agreement and whether secret talks of a "center pact" are being held between Kahlon and Liberman.