New poll reveals extent of Labour’s antisemitism problem
Antisemitism was far and away the most common subject people associate with Labour, according to a poll published on the eve of the party’s conference in Liverpool.
Asked what topics people could recall Labour talking about in recent weeks, 46 said per cent antisemitism, followed by 31 per cent who responded “nothing” and just 29 per cent Brexit.
A third believed Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was antisemitic – 33 per cent – and just below a quarter, 23 per cent, believed the party was antisemitic.
Just one under in six – 16 per cent – of those who voted Labour in the last election thought the party leader antisemitic, while 11 per cent thought the party antisemitic.
But over a third, 34 per cent, who would consider voting Labour said they would be less likely to vote for the party if it failed to properly address the problem of antisemitism.
A further 31 per cent of potential Labour voters said antisemitism was a problem but other issues were more important for them.
Nearly half, 46 per cent, thought Labour had a problem with antisemitism – with 30 per cent of those who voted Labour last year believing so.
Almost three times as many thought Jeremy Corbyn had handled the problem of antisemitism incompetently as those who thought he had been competent – 58 per cent compared to 20 per cent.
The view within Labour voters was more mixed with 39 per cent equally believing he had been competent and 39 per cent incompetent.
While 52 per cent of respondents felt he had lacked honesty and transparency in handling accusations of antisemitism, 22 per cent felt he had been honest and transparent ( Labour voters felt he had been honest and transparent by 45 per cent to 31 per cent).
But only 34 per cent of Labour voters felt Mr Corbyn was generally performing well as Labour against 29 per cent he did not.
As many as 48 per cent of the poll said they had seen “a lot” about antisemitism in the media recently and a further 31 per cent “a little”.
Mr Corbyn, interviewed by Andrew Marr on BBC TV today, said he was “absolutely not” an antisemite and that he did not believe the creation of Israel was a racist endeavour.