Netanyahu and Lapid
Netanyahu and LapidFlash 90

The Likud party’s lead over its closest challenger continues to shrink, a new poll shows, as the right-wing bloc declines.

According to the new poll, which was conducted by Panels Politics and published by Ma’ariv Friday morning, if new elections were held today, the Likud would win just 27 seats, down from its current 36 and down from the 28 seats it was projected to win in the previous Panels Politics poll, released just three days ago.

The Yesh Atid party held steady at 20 seats, while the New Hope party of former Likud MK and Netanyahu rival Gideon Sa’ar sank to 10 seats, down from 11 in the previous poll.

The rightist Yamina party also lost one seat in the new poll, falling to 11 mandates.

The Joint Arab List received eight seats in the poll, while the United Arab List (Ra’am) barely crossed the 3.25% electoral threshold with four seats, after previously failing to cross the threshold.

Among the haredi factions, Shas received eight seats and United Torah Judaism received seven.

Yisrael Beytenu is projected to win eight seats, up from its current seven, while Labor received five in the poll, down from six earlier this week.

The Religious Zionist Party alliance with Otzma Yehudit and Noam received just four seats in the poll, as did Meretz and the Blue and White Party.

Four parties barely crossed the 3.25% electoral threshold, receiving less than 4.0% of the vote: Blue and White received 3.9% in the poll, followed by 3.6% for Meretz, 3.5% for the United Arab List, and just 3.4% for the Religious Zionist Party.

The New Economic Party failed to cross the threshold, receiving just 1.1%.

Broken down by bloc, the rightist-religious camp received 57 seats in the poll, down from 58 in the previous poll. The left-wing - Arab bloc rose to 45 seats, with 18 seats going to right-of-center parties committed to unseating Netanyahu.

The poll also asked respondents which candidate they prefer as prime minister, putting Netanyahu up against three rivals in head-to-head matchups.

Netanyahu bested all three, but only by single digit margins.

Netanyahu was the favorite candidate among 44% of respondents, compared to 40% who preferred Gideon Sa’ar; while Netanyahu bested Yamina chief Naftali Bennett by just two points, 39% to 37%. The prime minister did better against Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, with 49% to Lapid’s 40%.

The poll surveyed 573 respondents online with data collected by the Panel4All site.