Labor leader Avi Gabbay optimistic: Center-left coalition will lead

Once a major party in Israeli politics, Labor has struggled to earn double-digit Knesset seats in surveys leading up to the current election.

By World Israel News

Amid all the talk of the challenge posed in Tuesday’s Knesset election by the Blue and White list to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, Labor leader Avi Gabbay says that his party will have gained enough seats in the nationwide vote to ensure that a center-left coalition will lead the next Israeli government.

Gabbay does not expect to become prime minister but he argues that his party will fare better in the election than in the polling which has been conducted over the past few months since electioneering began. According to public opinion surveys, Labor runs the risk of falling short of a double-digit number of seats in the 120-member Israeli parliament.

Aside from one polls showing it gain 14 seats, the party has not been seen as winning more than 11 spots in the next Knesset. Though its popularity has shown some signs of modest growth, with experts pointing to effective advertising and a young team of candidates including a number of women.

“You will be surprised,” Gabbay told supporters Tuesday.

Gabbay’s hope is that a more respectable showing by Labor will mean a better chance for Blue and White to form a governing majority with his party at its side.

Gabbay voted at his local polling station in Tel Aviv on Tuesday but also took his mother in a wheelchair to cast her ballot at her station in Jerusalem.

For many years, Labor and Likud were the two major Israeli political parties, with the rest of the parties falling far behind. However, Israel’s political map has seen meaningful changes more than once in just the past decade and a half.