A bare 13 per cent of UK Jewish voters intend to cast their ballot for Labour in next week’s general election, according to the latest polling. In contrast, 77 per cent will vote for Conservative candidates.
The results come as Jeremy Corbyn’s party continues to fight allegations of systemic anti-Semitism within its membership, evidenced by a string of controversies that have dogged Labour since the last election.
A poll for the Jewish Chronicle conducted by Survation reveals the levels of dissatisfaction Jewish voters feel for Labour.
Asked to place the parties on a scale from one to five, with 1 meaning there are “low levels of antisemitism among the political party’s members and elected representatives” and 5 representing “high levels”, Jews put Labour at 3.94 out of five.
The Chronicle reports support for Labour is highest among Jews aged 18-34, at 23 per cent. But among those over 55, it drops to just nine per cent. The party is slightly more popular in Manchester, attracting nearly 16 per cent of Jews, as opposed to 14 per cent in London.
More than 80 per cent of British Jews aged over 55 said they would vote Tory. Of those voters who said they would not vote Labour, one in three said Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership of the party made no difference to their voting intention. But more than half – 54 per cent – said they would be more likely to vote for the party if someone other than Mr Corbyn was leader.
One in 10 would be less likely to vote Labour if someone other than Mr Corbyn was leading the party into the election.
According to Chris Hopkins, senior project manager at Survation, the cratering in support for Labour first became evident at the 2015 election. He told the Jerusalem Post:
“Labour and Conservative support has changed in our Jewish polling over the last two years, but I wouldn’t describe any of the changes as surprising. Even in April 2015, when it appeared Ed Miliband was heading for No. 10 and Jeremy Corbyn wasn’t a factor in front-line Labour politics, the party was only receiving 22% of the vote in our Jewish polling, with more than two-thirds of respondents planning to vote Conservative.”
Anti-Semitism charges against Labour were first publicly aired last year by then Prime Minister David Cameron. He took to the floor of the House of Commons and told opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn to address the problem.
Mr. Cameron said Labour’s purported anti-Semitism was a signal of “even worse things happening to ethnic groups,” adding it cannot be ignored any longer.
Since then a strong of controversies have dogged the party, the main one being when UK Labour Party local councillors joined a prominent MP to condemn the “lenient” punishment handed to Ken Livingstone after the former London mayor was suspended – but not expelled – and refused to offer a categorical apology for past remarks on Hitler and Zionism, specifically those claiming there was “real collaboration” between Hitler and some German Jews in the 1930s.
Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: Follow @SunSimonKent or e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org