The Shelly Yachimovich Effect is shaking up Israeli politics: For the first time in years, Labor has made a comeback to return as the second-largest party after the Likud.
The Haaretz-Dialog poll - conducted on Sunday under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs of Tel Aviv University shows The Likud ruling party in the lead with 26 seats, Labor comes in a surprising second with 22 seats, continuing to steal seats from Kadima, that falls to the third place with only 18 seats,compared to 28 seats in the 2009 election.
FM Lieberman's party - Yisrael Beiteinu has picked up three seats, according to the survey, Yisrael Beiteinu and Kadima with the same number of Knesset seats - 18.
The poll found that the electoral drama between Kadima and Labor is still concentrated only among center-left voters, where nothing much is new. The Likud-ultra-Orthodox-right-wing bloc maintained its solid and secure position with 66 Knesset seats, compared to 54 seats for the center-left-Arab bloc.
The Haaretz-Dialog poll also shows that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu significantly improved his public standing after his speech last week at the United Nations in New York. Netanyahu's approval rating, which plunged dramatically in the shadow of the summer's social protest movements to 32%, rose by the time the survey was conducted, two days after his UN appearance 9 points to 41 approval, 45% disapproval to 54% in August.
Unsurprisingly, the nation was very satisfied from his UN appearance - satisfaction of Netanyahu's conduct as Israel's Prime minister rises among those who watched the speech - A tremendous 61% reported positive feelings towards the prime Minister,( 40% felt pride, 21% felt hope).