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YouGov UK

February 12-13, 2024

The Details

1. Sympathies for Palestinians are gaining momentum, and sympathies for Israelis are waning as the months go by (but they remain higher for both than they were before October 7).

  • Overall, support is up for both sides compared to pre-October 7 numbers. However, overall support for Israel is slowly declining (albeit it a slow rate), down from 20% immediately after October 7 to 16% now. In mid 2023, support in the UK for Israel was only 10%, as it had been for around five years prior.

  • By contrast, support for the Palestinians, which started at around a quarter of Brits before October 7, and dropped dramatically to only 16% immediately after October 7, has bounced back to record numbers – with 28% in the UK sympathizing more with the Palestinians.

  • Only 9% Gen Z’ers in the UK support Israel, same as in November, but support for the Palestinians is up from November (39%) to 43% now. This viewpoint mirrors their American counterparts.

  • Millennials in the UK are shifting their views rapidly – in November, less than a quarter (23%) supported the Palestinians, but by now a full third do. Support for Israel amongst them was at 13% in November, but is now up by only 3% to 16%. Another noteworthy change is how Millennials feel about supporting either side: in November, 30% supported both sides equally; in February the number dropped to 18%, most of which clearly shifted to support only the Palestinians.

  • When considering the viewpoints of Conservatives vs. Labor supporters, these mirror Republicans vs. Democrats, with far more support for Israel (31%) amongst Conservatives than Labor (6%), and far less support for Palestinians (10%) amongst Conservatives than Labor (49%).

  • Before October 7, around 64% of Britons responded that they don’t know who they sympathize with more, or that they support both sides equally. Today, 56% still aren’t “in the game”, which indicates that there is still significant “room to grow” in the UK.

2. Britons are increasingly likely to say Israel should call for a ceasefire and enter into negotiations for peace with Hamas, and are less likely than they were in November to see Israel’s military action as justified.

  • Most Brits do not think the October 7 attack on Israel was justified (69%, down from 75% in November). But just a quarter think Israel’s attack on Gaza from October onwards is justified (24%) and almost half (45%) think it isn’t justified. 30% don’t know.

  • More Britons think Israel should stop the the military action and call for a ceasefire, and less think they should continue to take military action.

  • More think Israel should be willing to enter peace negotiations with Hamas than they did in November.

3. Britons are expecting a change from the way things currently are in the region. The overwhelmingly more popular solution British people prefer is the two-state solution. These numbers have not shifted from November.

  • Two thirds oppose the approach that things should stay the same, whereas 8% think they should, and just over a quarter don’t know.

  • Two thirds prefer the two-state solution, 7% oppose it and 27% are not sure.

  • Interestingly, British Gen Z’ers diverge from the American counterparts in that they do not support at all the notion of a single Palestinian state with all the jews expelled (70% oppose the notion), mirroring how they feel about the opposite concept of a single Jewish state with all Palestinians expelled (69%).

4. British people do not see Israel as trying to minimize harm to civilians, and most either think Hamas is using people as human shields, or they don’t know.

  • Half of British people feel Israel does not try to minimize harm to civilians (50%), a fifth (19%) think they do, and almost a third (29%) don’t know.

  • Just over half of Brits think Hamas uses people has human shields (54%) but this is down from almost two thirds who thought that in November (60%). 10% think they don’t use people as human shields, and a full 35% don’t know.

5. Britons feel today more than they did in November that a permanent peace deal can be achieved in the next 10 years.

  • A third (32%, up from 27% in November) feel it is realistically possible, 39% (down from 45% in November) think it isn’t, and 29% don’t know (almost the same as in November).

Key Takeaways

The fast-paced increase in pro-Palestinian sentiment indicates Israel's messaging has not sufficiently penetrated the British mainstream. We must expand our outreach strategically to shape public perceptions in a more favorable direction.

There is an urgent need to educate the British public on Hamas' extremist ideology and terror tactics, such as their use of human shields. This will help align perceptions of the conflict closer to Israel's strategic interests.

Caution is warranted on interpreting increased optimism for a peace deal. While encouraging, this could catalyze pressure on the UK government to establish a Palestinian state unilaterally, without factoring Israel's legitimate security concerns.


In February, YouGov UK surveyed 2,092 British adults (not necessarily registered voters) on February 12-13, 2024. The last time this poll was done in the UK was in November 2023, and results were compared to see the changes over time.

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