Labour could lose UK constituencies with large Muslim populations over Gaza

Published July 3, 2024
British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks during a Labour general election campaign event, in Norton Canes, Britain on July 2, 2024. — Reuters
British opposition Labour Party leader Keir Starmer speaks during a Labour general election campaign event, in Norton Canes, Britain on July 2, 2024. — Reuters

LONDON: With the UK general election just days away, all eyes are on constituencies with large Muslim populations.

Dis­content over Labour’s perceived lacklustre response to the Gaza conflict has sparked a rise in pro-Palestine independent candidates, threatening Labour’s dominance in these areas.

Labour has historically enjoyed robust support from British Muslim voters. However, recent polling by Hyphen, a publication dedicated to issues faced by Muslims across the UK and Europe, reveals a notable decline in this backing.

In 2019, a whopping 86 per cent of British Muslims voted for Labour. This figure has plummeted to 63pc amid growing dissatisfaction with Labour’s stance on Gaza.

The poll further indicates that 86pc of British Muslims who prioritise Gaza in their top five issues would prefer an independent candidate advocating for Palestine.

Hyphen identified 21 constituencies that stand out as potential flashpoints where Labour’s grip may loosen.

The rise of pro-Palestine candidates reflects a broader sentiment of disillusionment among Muslim voters who feel their concerns about Gaza are not adequately addressed by Labour.

This shift is not confined to the above constituencies but resonates across other key areas like Manchester Rusholme, Poplar and Limehouse, and Luton North, where similar dynamics are at play.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2024

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