(tl;dr: people who identify as far left or far right are much more likely to say that no Jews should be allowed to come and live in Britain, according to ESS 2014 data)

In the midst of analyzing some other data this afternoon I had the strange urge to look at a question from the 2014 wave of the European Social Survey (ESS) on attitudes towards Jews and whether it was related to left-right self-identification in the UK.

Here’s the relevant questions from the ESS:

Left/right self-identification
I’ve looked at data on D27 in other countries but nothing yet on D26…

As in some previous analysis I’ve done on left/right self-identification in the Czech Republic (fine, Czechia), I recoded the left-right scale into two versions –

  • Far left: 00 and 01
  • Left: 02, 03 and 04
  • Centre: 05
  • Right: 06, 07, 08
  • Far right: 09 and 10

And one with just one’extreme points’ on either end:

  • Far left: 00
  • Left: 01, 02, 03 and 04
  • Centre: 05
  • Right: 06, 07, 08 and 09
  • Far right: 10

Jews and the far left

The vast majority (94%) of respondents said that either many, some or a few Jews should be allowed to come live in Britain, with only 6% saying no Jews should be allowed at all.

But…regardless of how you slice up the left/right scale, British people who identify as furthest to the left or right seem a lot less keen on Jews than those in the relative middle on the spectrum.


Keep in mind that only 5.2% of respondents in total placed themselves on the far left of the scale – 12.6% of 5.6% of people isn’t exactly a ton of people. Still, after double-checking, there’s definitely a statistically significant difference between those on the far left versus left, middle left/right and right (not the far right, obviously).

This relationship holds up when you just take one extreme point as far left (00)/right(10).


Here only 3.2% of the survey placed themselves on the far left, but it’s still a significant difference – and the percentage gets pushed up even higher for both the far left and far right.


I leave the implications and conclusions of all this to people in the know.