Most Ukip voters would not accept a Jewish prime minister, poll reveals

By Marcus Dysch, January 23, 2015
Labour leader Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband

Fewer than half of all Ukip supporters would be prepared to accept a Jewish politician becoming prime minister, polling has revealed.

Only 48 per cent of people intending to vote for the party agreed that a Jewish leader would be as acceptable as any other in Downing Street.

Across the political spectrum, the majority of British voters said a politician’s Jewish background would be irrelevant.

As Labour leader Ed Miliband campaigns to lead the country and be the first Jewish occupant of Number Ten since Disraeli, 83 per cent of people said his religion would make no difference to their voting intentions.

The research shows that among Liberal Democrat and Labour voters, 73 per cent and 72 per cent respectively said a Jewish prime minister would be as acceptable as any other.

Among Conservative supporters 65 per cent agreed.

Only one-third of voters said they knew Mr Miliband was Jewish.

Tim Bale, professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, carried out the polling as part of a study into the Labour party under Ed Miliband’s leadership.

Prof Bale said his research had also revealed that just 10 per cent of people believed “Jews have too much influence in this country”, although 18 per cent of Ukip supporters believed that to be the case.

His work was published by The Conversation website, ahead of the publication of his book, due before May’s general election.

Last updated: 10:17am, January 23 2015