Polling predicts how Britain’s diverse voter base could swing at the general election

New polling has forecast how the UK’s different ethnic minority groups will likely be voting on Thursday, with the war in Gaza a major concern for 1 in 5 of the nation’s Asian voters.

Exclusive polling for The Independent by More In Common shows that Black voters are still far more likely to vote Labour than any other party and more than any other ethnicity.

Despite the Labour’s recent race rows, some 64 per cent of Black voters are set to rally behind Sir Keir Starmer’s party, compared with 37 per cent of the country’s white population.

Ethnic minority voters aged 55+ are twice as likely (29 per cent) to vote Conservative as those aged 25-34 (14 per cent), and four times more than 18-24 year olds (seven per cent).

Ed Hodgson, research manager at More In Common, said: “Labour looks set to match their strong national performance with a strong vote share among ethnic minority voters. Given the younger skew of this group, many of them will have voted Labour at every election since 2010, and never voted in a Labour Government.

“Ethnic minority voters overwhelmingly think that a Labour government would make their life better, so this election marks the first chance for Labour to prove that this is the case.”

Middle East conflict a factor impacting votes

The Independent’s exclusive polling also shows that the attacks in Gaza are seen as a top issue among one in five Asian voters.

This means that Asian voters are six times more likely to see the Middle East conflict as a major issue than white voters; 20 per cent compared to three per cent.

Mr Hodgson from More In Common said Labour has harmed its reputation with Muslim voters over its early stance on Israel’s campaign against Hamas, although they may still stay loyal.

Mr Hodgson added: “For some of Britain’s Muslim Community, Labour has lost their trust over their stance on Gaza. However, given that less than a quarter list Gaza in their top three election issues, Labour’s vote share remains strong.”

“This means that, for the most part, regaining the trust of Britain’s Muslims will be a challenge for after the election.”

Labour’s leadership has faced criticism from within the party and beyond over its initial stance on the conflict, with Sir Keir criticised for refusing to back an immediate ceasefire in favour of calling for humanitarian pauses.

Zara Mohammed, the General Secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, told The Independent that our polling “highlights significant concerns across Muslim communities and wider British society”.

“Many are pained by what is happening in Gaza and are dissatisfied with the political response from the major parties and the current leadership,” Ms Mohammed said.

“There is also a strong desire to ensure that Britain is not complicit in the ongoing genocide case against Israel. For the upcoming election, it will be crucial for the next Prime Minister and government to effectively achieve a long-term peaceful solution in the Middle East.”

Amid these tensions, 19 per cent of Asian voters believe that a Labour government may actually make their life worse.

Overall, however, 43 per cent of ethnic minority voters still believe a Labour government will make their life better.

While half of all ethnic minority voters believe Labour reflects their views, a third of young voters (18-24) and older voters (45+) do not feel represented by the policies of Sir Keir’s party.

Labour has recently been embroiled in a number of racism rows around its treatment of barrister Martin Forde, longstanding MP Diane Abbott, and prospective parliamentarian and academic Faiza Shaheen.

Last month, The Independent revealed that Labour attempted to gag Mr Forde, who authored a report that exposed a “hierarchy of racism” within the party.

Meanwhile, Ms Abbott had the Labour whip restored last month, following suspension, but it was briefed out that she might be “barred” from running for the party in the General Election.

For days, Sir Keir declined to say whether she would be defending her Hackney North and Stoke Newington seat on July 4, as he faced claims of a “purge” of left-wing candidates.

Ethnic minority voters are also far more likely to be concerned about jobs and unemployment than white voters, with 1 in 3 Asian voters and Black voters focusing on these issues, compared to 1 in 10 white voters.

Recent analysis by the Trade Union Congress highlighted that the unemployment rate for Black, minority and ethnic workers is more than double that of white workers.

In a similar vein, Black voters are twice as likely to be concerned about affordable housing in this election (32 per cent ) compared to white voters (15 per cent), according to our poll.

Across England and Wales, people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities face disproportionate homelessness. Black people in particular are four times more likely to be homeless than the wider population.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “Racial inequity is hard-wired into our housing system. Structural racism and discrimination mean the odds are often stacked against people of colour: they are less likely to have a safe and secure home and more likely to become homeless.”

“Whoever gets the keys to Number 10 must prioritise building a new generation of genuinely affordable social homes. We also need robust renting regulation to root out discrimination in private renting.”