Political realignment of British Jews: Testing competing explanations

Andrew Barclay, Maria Sobolewska, Robert Ford

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This paper shows that the historical association of the British Jewish community with the Labour party is a thing of the past, and that a large majority now support the Conservatives. We test competing explanations for this realignment; (i) socio-economic progression, (ii) that perceptions of anti-Jewish discrimination no longer align British Jews with Labour given recent antisemitism scandals, and finally (iii) perceptions of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who many identify as personally responsible for failing to address and even tacitly embracing antisemitism within Labour. We find evidence that Jewish voters identify a lot more as middle class and that they do not believe that antisemitic prejudice holds them back in society. Both of these factors make Labour less appealing to Jews than is the case for other minority groups. We also find that Jeremy Corbyn is disliked by Jews more than non-Jews, irrespective of how they feel towards Labour generally.
Original languageEnglish
JournalElectoral Studies
Early online date2 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2019


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