Caabu Press Release: New poll shows sustained British public support for immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the suspension of UK arms sales to Israel

New poll shows sustained British public support for immediate ceasefire in Gaza and the suspension of UK arms sales to Israel

17 May 2024

A YouGov poll commissioned by MAP and Caabu has shown that the majority of British people think there should be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and would support the UK ending its arms sales to Israel for the duration of the conflict in Gaza.

This latest poll, (see attached file) conducted after six months of intensifying humanitarian crisis in Gaza, found that 55% of people support the UK ending the sale of arms to Israel for the duration of the conflict in Gaza. Only 13% want to see the continuation of arms sales. Amongst those who voted for the Conservative Party in 2019, the poll found that 40% are in favour of the UK suspending arms sales to Israel, while just 24% opposed. Amongst those who voted for Labour, 74% are in favour of the UK suspending arms sales, compared to 7% who oppose. This finding reinforces the results of previous YouGov polls in March and April, and shows durable support for a suspension of arms sales after the recent escalation between Israel and Iran. 

The poll further found that 73% of people support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, including 67% of those who voted Conservative in 2019 and 86% amongst Labour. Only 8% believe that there should not be one. While the Government and major opposition parties have now endorsed an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza, international pressure including from the UK has so far failed to achieve this.

Low public approval for both the UK Government and Labour opposition’s handling of the Gaza crisis was also found. Only 18% of people polled approve of the UK Government's response, while even fewer, just 12%, approve of the response from Labour.

Coming after UN human rights experts and the International Court of Justice concluded that Israel’s actions in Gaza may plausibly amount to genocide, these findings illustrate the continued failure of political leaders in the UK to adequately address this situation in the eyes of the British public. As Israel expands its operation in Rafah, against the warnings of the UN and humanitarian agencies, the UK must do much to uphold its obligations under international law, and to properly reflect the view of the British public, who are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the UK response. 

Rohan Talbot, MAP’s Director of Advocacy and Campaigns, said "Seven months of Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment and siege have wrought the worst humanitarian crisis ever seen in Gaza. In recent days, Israeli forces’ escalating attacks on Rafah and the North have further displaced hundreds of thousands more people, many of them for the second or third time, and pushed humanitarian operations to the brink of total collapse. The feeling among the British public reaffirms the demands of humanitarians: UK leaders must do more to end the killing in Gaza, including halting arms sales so they cannot be used in further violations of international law.”

Caabu Director, Chris Doyle, commented on the findings: “What this and earlier polls continue to demonstrate is that the government and the Labour leadership continue to lag sluggishly behind British public opinion by failing to take the decisive actions needed to help bring the horrors we see in Gaza to a swift end a trend also highlighted in polls across Europe. There is little confidence in the leadership of both the main parties in the handling of this major international crisis.”




Notes to Editors:

  1. Action for Humanity commissioned a YouGov poll in April that showed 56% in favour of a arms ban on Israel with 17% opposed
  2. The details of the first MAP-Caabu poll in December can be found here
  3. In April, the Palestinian Institute for Public Diplomacy commissioned a YouGov poll that showed over half of those surveyed in five EU states supported an arms ban on Israel. The summary and overview of results for each country and YouGov full tables of results here: