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British Pakistani voters helped surge for Labour Party

Islamabad

June 14, 2017

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Conservatives lose out completely in seats with important Muslim votes

Murtaza Ali Shah & Tanveer Khatana

British Pakistani and Muslim voters played a key role in the resurgence in support for the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn and voted in record numbers – decisively rejecting Conservatives manifesto.

A survey by these correspondents shows that not only the British Pakistani voters came out in record numbers to vote in their areas, increasing their political participation noticeably, the voting share and the majority margin of the MPs was boosted too because of two factors: Jeremy Corbyn’s appeal to the common man and increased participation of the British Pakistani community who showed more interest in these elections than at any time before.

Britain is home to over three million Muslims and just over 0.5 million are registered as voters. Of the three million Muslims in the UK, nearly half of them are under 25 and this election saw a sharp rise in registered Muslim voters due to younger generation taking greater interest in politics, playing a vital role in the outcome of these elections.

The News and Geo TV team did a pre-poll research to gauge the impact of Muslim voters in general election and it was established that there were around 39 constituencies in which more than 1000 voters were Muslims. A clear pattern in all constituencies shows that more than 90% of these voters voted for Labour as Conservatives didn’t make any effort to connect with these voters.

The prime example of the surge in favour of Labour and greater participation of British Pakistanis in these elections was witnessed in Bedford where Mohammed Yasin, considered as a paper candidate, defeated Richard Fuller of Conservative. In previous election, Mr Fuller won from here with a difference of over 1000 votes. In last week’s election, he was defeated by Mohammed Yasin by over 800 votes. The number of registered Muslim voters in this constituency are 3,652 - the swing towards Labour certainly worked in favour of Mr Yasin.

Labour MP Naz Shah's Bradford West constituency, which has more Muslim voters than any other constituency in Britain, saw a huge surge in favour of Labour. Naz Shah won in 2015 with a margin of 11,420 votes and in this election she received 29,744 votes while her nearest rival of Conservatives could only get 7,442. 

Another candidate Salma Yaqoob got 6,345. This constituency has seen a huge impact of Muslim votes out of 20,669 registered Muslim voters Naz Shah probably has attracted more than 14,000 Muslim voters in this constituency.

Hampstead and Kilburn constituency has seen Rupa Haq winning with a massive margin of 15,560. Previously she won the seat with a majority of only 1,138. The total number of Muslim registered voters in this constituency is 5,767.

In Bradford East, Labour MP Imran Hussain doubled his lead as compared to previous results. With 37% Muslim share votes in his constituency, he managed to get 29,841 votes - 10,000 more votes as compared to 2015 elections. Imran Hussain's massive victory in Bradford East is due to 15,299 Muslim voters living in the constituency.

In at least 16 constituencies, the impact of Muslim votes was high, the swing in the majority towards Labour was 7,789 on an average (equivalent to c.16% of the electorate vs. c.2% national swing). Every one of these 16 seats is now held by the Labour Party, 11 previously held seats by Labour has also seen an increase in voting share too and a further 5 more seats which Labour gained from the Conservatives, the share and majority with which labour grabbed is immense.

In around 23 constituencies, the impact of Muslim communities and their voting was medium. The swing in the majority towards Labour (or the Liberal Democrats in the Conservative-Lib Dem marginal Kingston & Surbiton) was 6,839 on average (c. 15% of the electorate vs. c.2% national swing).16 previously held seats by Labour were strengthened in every seat except for Bolton North East. The remaining 5 seats were still held by Conservatives but their lead and margin of victory was reduced to a huge level. Lib Dem snatched one seat from Conservatives, the only seat where Conservative took a lead was Bolton West and the lead was only 135.

The impact of Muslim votes varied from town to town. In Manchester, a Labour held-seat since 1935 has seen a British Pakistani elected for the first time. Afzal Khan won from Gorton constituency with a margin of over 31,000. Sir Gerald Kaufman, the long serving MP who died few months ago, had won 27,000 votes in 2015. In Bury, Muslim voters played a key role in swing towards Labour from Conservatives, adding to the new seats of Labour.

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