Gabbay: “I’m Next Prime Minister”

Labor party chairman Avi Gabbay speaks during a conference of the Kibbutz Movement at the Dead Sea, Wednesday. (Dudi Modan/Flash90)

Contrary to what all the polls are showing, Labor party chairman Avi Gabbay predicted on Wednesday that he will be elected prime minister in April.

When asked in an interview on Hadashot if he thinks he’ll win, he replied, “I indeed believe so.”

According to current polls, Likud maintains a wide lead with Yesh Atid and Benny Gantz running a distant second and third. If elections were held now, the polls say, Gabbay’s Labor would sink from 24 seats in the outgoing Knesset to a paltry 7 or 8.

In addition, Gabbay — who faces a simmering rebellion within his party with a number of MKs demanding his ouster — voiced unflappable confidence, saying “I’ll head the Labor Party come what may” in the elections.

However, Gabbay could not deny reports that Gantz has turned down his overtures to coalesce with Labor.

In a speech at a Kibbutz Movement conference at the Dead Sea, Gabbay admitted that he tried to persuade Gantz to run with Labor, but “as is his right, he chose to start in a different way,” Hadashot reported.

“We are in a political period like no other; new parties are emerging every day and trying to tell us a new story,” Gabbay said.

“Last year I tried, and I am still trying to connect these parties,” he added, then called on Gantz’s Resilience Party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid to pledge not to sit in a government led by Netanyahu.

Meanwhile, Lapid offered former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi the number 2 spot in his party and a senior ministerial post if it’s in the government, Channel 10 said.

Sources in the Ashkenazi camp were quoted as saying that he is mulling offers from at least two parties, and a decision is not likely in the next few days.