UK: two in three support Gaza ceasefire

IssueApril - May 2024
News by PN staff

Every poll since the beginning of the massacre in Gaza has found that a majority of people in Britain want in an immediate end to Israel’s assault. 

Even if we subtract those who only support a ‘pause’ in the war, we still find that a majority of British people who have an opinion back an immediate, unconditional, permanent ceasefire, as called for by UN agencies and humanitarian NGOs.

The latest poll, conducted on 12 and 13 February, found that two-thirds of British people (66 percent) want Israel to stop its war and call a ceasefire. 

However, a large chunk of ‘ceasefire’ opinion, maybe 22 percent of people (see below), would probably be satisfied with just a ‘humanitarian pause’ in the fighting. This leaves roughly 44 percent of British people in favour of an unconditional, long-term ceasefire.

This 44 percent of solid anti-war opinion is still a much larger bloc than the 13 percent of British people (20 percent of men; 6 percent of women) who think Israel should just continue its military action, without hesitation.

Set aside the 21 percent who say they ‘don’t know’, and the solidly anti-war 44 percent becomes a majority of British people who have an opinion: 44/79 = 56 percent.

76, 61, 53, 57, 71 percent

Earlier YouGov polls on this subject all found large majorities in favour of an Israeli ceasefire (permanent or temporary).

  • 19 October (near the start of Israel’s assault on Gaza): 76 percent support a immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine – 58 percent said ‘definitely’; 18 percent ‘probably’.
  • 31 October – 1 November: 61 percent of people in favour of either a ceasefire (40 percent) or a humanitarian pause (21 percent).
  • 7 – 8 November: 53 percent in favour of either a ceasefire (31 percent) or a pause (22 percent). Only 7 percent think Israel should continue its war.
  • 15 November: 57 percent want an end to the fighting – 33 percent want the British government to push for an Israeli ceasefire; while 24 percent support ‘a temporary ceasefire to allow in aid’.
  • 20 – 21 December: 71 percent support an immediate ceasefire in Israel-Palestine – 48 percent say ‘definitely’; 23 percent ‘probably’.

So, there has been significant support for a humanitarian pause in the fighting, rather than a proper ceasefire: 21, 22 and 24 percent of Britons in October – November. This averages out to about 22 percent of British people supporting the ‘pause’ option, which is half the number of people (44 percent) who currently support a real ceasefire.