Netanyahu and Bennett
Netanyahu and Bennett צילום: יונתן זינדל, פלאש 90

With just one week to go until Israel’s fourth general election in under two years, the Likud continues to hold a single-digit lead over its nearest challenger, the Yesh Atid party, with 28 seats to Yesh Atid’s 20, a new poll shows.

The poll, which was conducted by Panels Politics and published Tuesday morning by Radio 103FM, found that if new elections were held today, the right-wing bloc would win 58 seats, the same number it received in last year’s election, but one more seat than in the previous Panels Politics poll, published four days ago.

The left-wing Arab bloc is projected to win 45 seats, with the remaining 17 seats going to right-of-center parties which have vowed not to back Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for an unprecedented sixth term as premier.

The rightist Yamina party received 11 seats in the poll, compared to five for the Religious Zionist Party alliance with Otzma Yehudit and Noam – an improvement compared to last week’s poll when the alliance barely cleared the 3.25% electoral threshold with just four seats.

The New Hope party of former Likud MK and Netanyahu rival Gideon Sa’ar held steady at 10 seats, while Yisrael Beytenu fell from eight to seven mandates.

Among the haredi factions, Shas fell from eight seats to seven in the poll, with United Torah Judaism holding steady at seven.

The Joint Arab List received eight seats, while the United Arab List (Ra’am) barely cleared the electoral threshold with four.

The United Arab List broke away from the Joint Arab List late last year, and has been floated as a possible ally for a future Netanyahu government, should the right-wing bloc fail to reach the 61 seats necessary for a majority in the Knesset.

If new elections were held today, Labor would win five seats, while both Meretz and Blue and White would barely clear the electoral threshold with four each.

The poll also found that in head-to-head matchups, Netanyahu holds only a narrow lead over two of his three most likely challengers.

Netanyahu is in a statistical dead-heat with Sa’ar, leading by just one point, 44% to 43%.

The prime minister fared slightly better against Yamina chief Naftali Bennett, besting him by four points, and beat Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid by nine points.

Panels Politics’ chief pollster, Menachem Lazar, said that a large number of voters are still undecided, and that a last-minute movement could determine the election.

“The headline is that nothing is certain. Everything will be decided at the bottom based on the fact that the United Arab List and Meretz are on the cusp [of the electoral threshold]. The New Hope party is trending downwards. I’m not at all certain that Blue and White will clear the threshold in the end.”

Fully 18 seats-worth of voters remain undecided, Lazar said.

“Sixteen percent is 18 mandates. The percentage of undecided voters isn’t going down, and most of them will end up turning out to vote. Most of them are centrist voters who backed Blue and White. Some will go to Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid, but it is hard to predict exactly how things will go.”