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Record 24 Muslim MPs likely to be elected to UK parliament

World

December 11, 2019

LONDON: A total of around two dozen candidates of Muslim faith are expected to be elected to Parliament this Thursday in the historic increase in the number of elected politicians of Muslim faith from mainly Pakistani, Bangladesh and also of Kurdish backgrounds.

An analysis of constituencies, candidates and trends by Geo and The News shows that more than 70 percent newly elected Muslim MPs will be from British Pakistani background, followed by Bangladeshis.

Highest number of Muslim and Pakistani candidates will be on the Labour ticket, followed by the Tories/Conservatives. Around three million Muslims now live in Britain, making them the second largest faith group after the Christians.

Our analysis and breakdown shows that the total number of Muslim prospective parliamentary candidates have gone up from just 47 in 2017 to more than 70 for this Thursday’s general elections.

The Labour Party has given ticket to 33 Muslim candidates with outright or slim chance of winning. Of these, around 16 look comfortable to win their seats against the Tory opponents, unless there is a big upset on the Election Day.

The number of Muslims on Conservative seats will double from just three in 2017 to around six or more on Thursday’s election. The Conservative Party has given tickets to 22 Muslim candidates but only around five are considered to be on safe seats.

The Liberal Democrats never had a Muslim MP and that looks likely to change during the general election 2019. It’s expected that of the 17 candidates who were given tickets against Labour and Tory opponents, around two could win their seats for the first time.

The following candidates are participating on Labour’s ticket. Mohammad Yasin in Bedford; Shabana Mahmood in Birmingham Ladywood; Khalid Mahmood in Birmingham Perry Barr; Yasmin Qureshi in Bolton South East; Afzal Khan in Manchester Gorton, Imran Hussain in Bradford East; Naz Shah in Bradford West; Faisal Rashid in Warrington South; and Dr Rosena Allen-Khan in Tooting. All of them won in 2017 elections from same seats and all of them look comfortable with the exception of Tooting seat.

Zara Sultana in Coventry South and Tahir Ali in Birmingham Hall Green have been awarded ticket on the safe seats and are likely to win.

Rushnara Ali in Bethnal Green & Bow, Rupa Haq in Ealing Central & Acton, Tulip Siddiq in Hampstead & Kilburn are of Bangladeshi origin. Three of them were part of the last parliament while Apsana Begum has been allotted a ticket from Labour’s safe seat of Poplar & Lime House.

Ibrahim Dogus of Kurdish origin has been awarded ticket from Labour’s safe seat of West Bromwich which was previously held by Labour’s outgoing deputy leader Tom Watson. Another strong Labour candidate of Kurdish origin is Faryal Clark who is contesting from Enfield North, a labour safe seat in North of London.

Azhar Ali, Khalil Ahmed and Faiza Shaheen are Labour’s candidates from Pendle, Wycombe and South Woodford respectively. Conservative party’s Andrew Stephenson, Steve Baker & Ian Duncan Smith, previously held all three constituencies. All of them have been running strong campaigns to oust their Tory opponents. Faiza Shaheen has won support of lots of public figures and actor Hugh Grant campaigned for her last week in her constituency. This will be a huge election upset if she manages to unseat Tory grandee Ian Duncan Smith who lives in a mansion far away from the constituency where has been elected from.

The Muslim vote in general and Pakistani/Kashmiri communities vote in particular can be decisive in several seats.

Also on Labour’s ticket from Uxbridge, Ali Milani of Iranian origin is challenging to unseat the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson. He has been running an energetic campaign with help from the mass Corbyn supporting movement called Momentum.

The following of Kashmiri/Pakistani origin are set to take Conservative seats: Sajid Javid in Bromsgrove, Nusrat Ghani in Wealden; and Rehman Chishti in Gillingham. Nadhim Zahawi in Stratford-upon-Avon is of Kurdish origin he was also part of the previous parliament.

Saqib Bhatti is a new comer and has been awarded a Tory ticket from a safe seat of Meriden. Imran Ahmed Khan of Pakistani origin and Mo Ali of Somali origin are having a close fight with Labour’s Marry Creagh and Anna McMorrin from Wakefield and Cardiff North respectively. Both seats were held be Labour in the previous elections.

Liberal Democrats didn’t award ticket from any of the seats held by party in the previous elections to any Muslim candidate but have shortlisted Hina Bokhari in Sutton & Cheam and Humaira Malik in Bermondsey & Southwark. These two constituencies were held by Lib Dams until 2010 but lost to Conservative party in 2015 elections.

The Liberal Democrat’s Party has been trying to get these two South London seats back and their chances look good locally. A strong remain vote on Brexit can win both seats for Lib Dams because of Party’s Anti-Brexit stance.

Another promising candidate is Kamran Hussain in Leeds North West. Although Brexit Party and Green Party have awarded tickets to Muslim candidates but they are unlikely to make any significant impact in the elections.

Scottish SNP and Welsh Plaid Cymru parties didn’t give tickets to any Muslim candidate in this election.