The English Defence League

The English Defence League
by

A new Chatham House report, which draws on YouGov research, challenges stereotypes about the English Defence League and the wider counter-Jihad network.

The report by Dr Matthew Goodwin, entitled The Roots of Extremism: The English Defence League and the Counter-Jihad Challenge”, finds that widely held assumptions about counter-Jihad sympathisers may need to be reassessed.  Contrary to widely held assumptions which trace support for counter-Jihad groups to the financial crisis, economic austerity and political isolation, our research for the report reveals that most respondents sympathetic of the EDL’s values are:

  • Actively engaging in mainstream politics, and more likely than their fellow citizens to have voted at the last election
  • Not more likely to be unemployed, dependent on social housing or motivated simply by economic insecurity
  • Not necessarily young and uneducated. Less than a fifth (16%) of sympathisers in our sample are aged 18-29 years, and fewer than one in ten supporters has no qualifications whatsoever
  • Not simply anti-Muslim and overtly racist, but xenophobic and profoundly hostile towards immigration
  • More likely than the British public to expect inter-communal conflict and believe violence is justifiable and inevitable

YouGov’s Political and Social Research Manager Laurence Janta-Lipinski comments “This new research helps to shed light on an under-researched and poorly-understood group in British society. The report helps to answer some of the fundamental questions surrounding  these groups and challenges some of the widely-held views on their demographic make-up, core concerns and potential support.”

See the results for EDL sympathisers

See the British sample survey results

Click here to read the full Chatham House report

Please read our community rules before posting.
Feedback