Poll reveals public believes five million Jews live in the UK


One in five people believes there are more than five million Jews living in Britain, according to polling conducted on behalf of the parliamentary group investigating antisemitism.

Asked to estimate the country’s Jewish population, 21 per cent said more than five million, with 12 per cent putting the figure at between three and five million. The most accurate number, based on census data from 2011, is closer to 260,000.

Polling group Populus interviewed 1,001 British adults in the third week of January on behalf of the All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Antisemitism.

Questions related to general attitudes towards Jews and the public’s understanding of antisemitism and recent attacks on Jewish people.

Asked whether British Jews were as loyal to the country as any other citizens, 62 per cent of people said they were. Only seven per cent suggested British Jews were more loyal to Israel. A quarter thought loyalties were divided equally between the two countries.

Asked whether Jews “talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust”, 15 per cent said they did, 59 per cent disagreed.

A third of people believed Jews “always defend the state of Israel whether its actions are right or wrong”. Almost exactly the same percentage disagreed.

Asked whether Jews have too much influence over British foreign policy,
54 per cent said no, but 11 per cent believed that to be the case. In relation to the media and politics, 11 per cent also thought Jews were too powerful.

The polling suggests recent events in Israel have not affected British views of the country, with 89 per cent saying Israel had the right to exist.

Fifty-five per cent of people said they would be able to explain what antisemitism means to someone else, but in the 18-24 age group, only 37 per cent said they could explain it.

The public rate the severity of antisemitism as being at a similar level to a decade ago — putting it at around 4.6 on a scale where one represents “not a problem” and 10 represents “a serious problem”.

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