Financial Times Analysis suggests that the Labour Party’s loss of Muslim support could stop it from winning the election
Analysis published in an article in Thursday 30th November’s Financial Times, indicates that the Labour Party 's loss of Muslim support which is now widespread, is likely to significantly reduce its chances of winning the next election.
The analysis refers to a sizeable number of marginal seats in which the loss of the Muslim population vote could collapse Labour’s chances of winning a majority in the next General Election. These seats hitherto (before 7th October), were likely confident wins. It also assesses the prospect that a predicted flipping of dozens of Tory seats can no longer be counted on. The combination of these factors, it suggests and the prospect of some former Labour candidates resigning and running as independents, will likely result in the splintering of ‘the broad coalition of support it needs to win [the election]’.
The article suggests that there are as many as 10 seats in England and Wales, where the balance of the Muslim population represents more than 10 percent of the whole, leaving them open to protest votes. An example of this is underlined the 2005 General Election upheaval in Bethnal Green and Bow, which saw the previously safe Labour seat overturned due to Oona King’s Iraq War stance. This provided George Galloway with an election victory. Also, the success of the Aspire Party’s local council election in May 2022, which saw the election of Lutfar Rahman as Mayor of Tower Hamlets and his party in overall control of the council, shows how a protest vote from a rattled Muslim majority constituency, can easily overturn a Labour majority.
Recent street protests which took place outside the offices of the sitting MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, Rushanara Ali, following her abstaining from the vote which called for a ceasefire in Gaza, saw demands for her to be removed from office. The FT reports that Rushanara Ali’s office has been plastered with posters calling for her to resign. There have also been the resignations of more than 50 Labour councillors across the country directly linked to the stance adopted by the Labour party over its failure to support a ceasefire in Gaza.
The article references poll ratings for the Labour Party amongst British Muslims, stating that approximately 50% of British Muslims who voted for Labour in 2019, now have a negative feeling towards the party due to its handling of the Gaza conflict. Keir Starmer’s own personal ratings among British Muslims are significantly lower than the national average – at minus 26 points, compared to plus 8 among the general population.
A sense of foreboding
The article cites the comments of senior Labour MP, John Cruddas, who has been the sitting MP in Dagenham and Rainham since 2010. His constituency has a significant Muslim population, which has trebled in size during his term. His slim majority of 300, may just be a part of his reason for stepping down prior to the next election. He offered the comment:
‘I have a sense of foreboding about where this [war] will go… The Iraq legacy comes to the fore. I’m fearful. It was tragic in terms of the humanitarian consequences, also tragic for the Labour Party’
According to MEND, the Muslim empowerment Group, Muslim voters make up an estimated 10% of 83 or 13% of parliamentary seats.
An MCB Survey found that Labour support among Muslims has dropped by 66% since the disastrous comments by Sir Keir Starmer on LBC
A recent survey published on 17th October 2023, by the Muslim Census Team, which is a part of MCB, which surveyed 30,0000 Muslims in England and Wales, revealed that Labour has witnessed a drop of 66% in support from 75% to as low as 5%. Almost all respondents cited the recent position of the Labour Party in respect of the Israel Palestine Crisis.
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