Experts claim antisemitism row hurt Labour in areas with large communities
A group of esteemed professors have concluded that the antisemitism crisis has hurt the Labour Party at the polls since Jeremy Corbyn came to power, after analysing election results in areas with large Jewish communities.
In research for the BBC conducted by Prof Stephen Fisher of Oxford, Prof Rob Ford of Manchester and Prof Sir John Curtice of Strathclyde, the dons looked at five constituencies in which more than 10 percent of residents were Jewish.
Alongside Bury South in Manchester, these were Finchley and Golders Green, Hertsmere, Hendon and finally Hackney and Stoke Newington, the latter represented by Shadow Home Secretary and key Corbyn ally Diane Abbott MP.
While Labour’s share of the vote increased by an average of almost ten percent across the country during the last general election, the professors found that in these five areas the party only increased its share by seven percentage points.
They added that the difference was amplified further when considering the 2016 Brexit vote, because – as a general rule – the higher the ‘remain’ vote in an area, the better Labour did in the 2017 general election.
“Once we take this into account, Labour’s share of the vote in the constituencies with the most Jewish voters appears to be about 4.5 points below what might have been expected,” they said. “In two constituencies, Finchley and Golders Green, and Hendon – this is greater than the margin by which it was beaten.”
The academics gained support for their conclusion in local elections earlier this year, when the party was given a bloody nose by failing to win Barnet, which includes Finchley and Golders Green, despite clear wins elsewhere in the capital.
Corbyn used his conference speech in Liverpool this week to appeal to Jewish voters to stick with the party, saying Labour was “an ally”.