John Connolly John Connolly

Revealed: what voters think of party allegations of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia

Commentators on the left and right have been fiercely arguing for the past few weeks over which political party is more racist: Labour or the Conservatives. Conservatives have pointed out Jeremy Corbyn’s numerous links and associations with anti-Semites, Labour’s refusal to adopt the IHRA definition and Jewish conspiracy theorists on Twitter. In response, prominent left wingers have flung back at them calls by Sayeeda Warsi for an inquiry into Tory Islamophobia and comments by Boris Johnson about women in burqas looking like letter boxes.

But what do the public actually think about allegations of racial prejudice within the two main parties, and who do they think is worse? Coffee House can shed some light on this today as we reveal two new polls, conducted in April and June, by Deltapoll, which show how far voters think anti-Semitism and Islamophobia have spread within the Labour and Conservative parties.

At first glance, the findings do not reflect well on Corbyn at all, with 34pc of those polled believing that he holds anti-Semitic views. By comparison, only 21pc of voters think that Theresa May has anti-Islamic opinions. As a party that likes to see itself as the vanguard of anti-racism, and given Corbyn’s own self-proclaimed anti-racist credentials, this difference between will certainly be cause for concern among Labour supporters.

Labour does slightly better when it comes to the parties as a whole. Similar numbers of the public think that prejudice exists inside the Conservatives and Labour. 51pc think Labour has ‘pockets’ of anti-Jewish sentiment whereas 47pc believe the Conservatives have similar amounts of anti-Islamic views. However, given that these polls took place before the most recent outbreak of allegations on both sides, the findings could now be worse.

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