Avi Gabbay
Avi Gabbay Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Zionist Union Chairman Avi Gabbay blamed the recently enacted Supermarket Law for his party's plunge in the polls.

According to Gabbay, a popular backlash against the Supermarket Law, which effectively shutters businesses operating on Shabbat, caused his supporters to support Yesh Atid instead, due to faction head Yair Lapid's perceived anti-religious tilt.

"The decline of my party in the polls is due to the passage of the Supermarket Law," Gabbay told Radio Kol Hai.

Gabbay said that unlike Lapid, he refuses to attack the haredi public to please voters. "I am not willing to become a leader that divides the population," he said.

Gabbay also denied that the Zionist Union's poor showing in the polls was causing its members to regret electing him as party head back in July. "They are not looking to oust me in the party," said Gabbay.

Gabbay's Zionist Union had soared in the polls after he first wrested control of the party from Opposition head MK Isaac Herzog. However, recent polls had shown the faction in a decline, with a survey last week finding that the Zionist Union would drop to 16 seats from its current 24 in the upcoming elections.

While Lapid is seen as anti-haredi, Gabbay has spoken out repeatedly about his Jewish identity and accused the left of "forgetting how to be Jewish" in November. Gabbay's pro-religion stance earned him criticism among the left, who contended that he was abandoning his electoral base in order to attract voters from the right.

"Apparently, the person chosen to lead the Labor party is a person with good intentions who lacks political experience. He is trying to replace identity and policy with attempts to woo additional voters from the right. At the end of the day, he loses on both fronts, and that's what we're seeing in the polls" said Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg.

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