Pre-election JC poll reveals huge support for Netanyahu among UK Jews

By Marcus Dysch, March 11, 2015
Benjamin Netanyahu

Benjamin Netanyahu

An exclusive poll for the JC has revealed that two thirds of British Jews who have a view on the Israeli election would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Asked who they would support if they could vote in next week’s ballot, 67 per cent of those with an opinion said they would choose Mr Netanyahu’s centre-right Likud. Just 22 per cent would vote for the Zionist Union, led by Labour leader Isaac Herzog.

Although 40 per cent said they did not know who they preferred, when given a straight choice between Mr Netanyahu and Mr Herzog, 41 per cent said they would choose Mr Netanyahu to continue as prime minister, as opposed to just 18 per cent who wanted Mr Herzog.

Likud and Mr Netanyahu were found to have similar levels of support among all age groups and across all areas of the UK.

No other Israeli politician or party made a significant impact with British Jews. Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid would each receive around three per cent of votes, with Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu on one per cent and Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu on 0.7 per cent.

The poll was carried out for the JC by Survation, which questioned a representative sample of 1,000 British Jews over the past week.

Patrick Briône, Survation’s director of research, said the strength of support for Likud and Mr Netanyahu “seems to reflect better name recognition than Isaac Herzog or the Zionist Union, as support for Likud is higher among those who say they follow Israeli politics less closely than among those who say they follow it very regularly”.

The poll also revealed Anglo-Jewry’s general level of interest in Israeli politics. There was an almost 50-50 split between those who followed political matters in the Jewish state and those who did not.

The level of interest extended to “quite a bit” for 32 per cent of people, and “very much” for a further 18 per cent. There was “not very much” of a following among 36 per cent and no interest at all for 14 per cent.
On the whole, British Jewish men were more interested in Israeli politics than women.

Opinion polls in Israel this week suggested the Zionist Union was narrowly ahead of Likud, with a predicted lead of around four Knesset seats.

Read the full results here

Last updated: 6:58pm, March 11 2015