The Israeli right would trounce Prime Minister Ehud Barak and his Labor party if elections were held now, according to a Gallup poll published in the Maariv daily Friday.
Israel's right-wing bloc, led by the Likud party and including Jewish settlers and others opposed to peace talks with the Palestinians, would obtain an absolute majority in parliament, winning 63 out of 120 seats, the poll said.
The right's potential candidate for Prime Minister, former premier Benjamin Netanyahu, would easily defeat Barak for the premiership, the poll said.
Asked for whom they would vote, 46 per cent of respondents said Netanyahu, while only 27 percent answered Barak. Another 27 percent said they were undecided.
The poll said Likud, the right's flagship party, would double its number of MPs from 19 to 34 seats.
Meanwhile, the Labor party would lose six seats, whittling its presence to 20 deputies.
Netanyahu has not yet announced his candidacy, but is expected to run.
A poll in Maariv a week ago gave 46 percent of the vote to Netanyahu and 29 percent to Barak, with 25 percent undecided.
Barring a change in electoral law, Israelis will directly elect their Prime Minister for the third time since 1996.
Some MPs have called for revising the law, saying it has led to the government's fragmentation and handed too much power to smaller parties.
The poll questioned 1,300 Israelis and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.
Barak had called for new elections on November 28 during a session in which the Likud and its allies adopted the first reading of a bill that would do the same. Barak and his Labor-led coalition had been without a government majority since July.
A date has still not set a date for elections, expected for the spring -- JERUSALEM (AFP)
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