Nearly a quarter of British Jews are set to vote for the Liberal Democrats at the General Election – four times as many as in 2017.
Jo Swinson’s party has for the first time emerged as a viable alternative for Jewish voters disaffected by the Tories and Labour, with a new poll putting them on 24 percent among those who declared their intentions. Just six percent of the same sample said they voted Lib Dem when Britain last went to the polls.
But Boris Johnson’s party remains way ahead on 64 percent, according to the Survation poll commissioned by the Jewish Leadership Council (JLC) and shared with Jewish News. That compares to 67 percent backing the Tories in 2017. After another two years of anguish over the handling of antisemitism, Labour has fallen from the 11 percent to just six percent now.The Brexit Party is on three percent and other parties on three percent.
A total of 766 people were questioned between mid-September and middle of October. Figures were produced after undecided voters and those who refused to answer were removed.
Brexit is described by 31 percent of respondents as the single most important issue in deciding who to back, with antisemitism second at 19 percent and the economy on nine percent. Unprompted, seven percent referred to opposing Corbyn and Labour – leading to Survation creating an additional category for this.
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When measured alongside each other, twice as many people said antisemitism generally is more important than Brexit in deciding which party to support, as claimed Brexit is more important. Exactly half insisted they were equally important.
Jonathan Goldstein, chair of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “Time and again we have warned the Labour Party over their shambolic handling of antisemitism, now so deeply embedded into the soul of the party that it is infecting everyday political discourse. These figures demonstrate there are a growing number of British Jews who feel deeply concerned over the direction the party has taken. Yet we now have to conclude that it is both incapable and unwilling to change.”
Shockingly, nearly half (47 percent) said they would “seriously consider” emigrating if Corbyn won. When it comes to perceptions about party leaders, 87 percent deemed the Labour leader to be antisemitic, 32 percent believe Nigel Farage to be antisemitic, with five percent saying the same of both Boris Johnson and Jo Swinson.
A Labour Party spokesperson said: “In 2017, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, we defied the polls and won the biggest increase in Labour’s vote share since 1945 and took away the Tories’ majority. We are now gearing up to launch the most ambitious and radical campaign for real change that our country has ever seen. This general election is a once-in-a-generation chance to transform our country and take on the vested interests holding people back by electing a government that works for the many, not the few.”