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Poll shows Israel's Labor getting big boost with new leader

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JERUSALEM (AP) -- A poll shows Israel's Labor Party getting a big boost from the election of political newcomer Avi Gabbay as leader.

The Midgam survey commissioned by Channel 2 TV shows the opposition's Gabbay-led Zionist Union bloc coming in second after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud if elections were held now. Likud would garner 25 of parliament's 120 seats, while Gabbay's bloc would get 20. Previous polls showed the bloc coming in fourth or fifth.

The poll surveyed 500 Israelis and had a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.

Labor led the Jewish state for its first three decades, leaving its mark on all aspects of Israeli society. But it hasn't governed since then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak was defeated in 2001 following a failed attempt to reach peace with the Palestinians.

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