Ethnic and religious minority voters: electoral winners? 2023

Ethnic and religious minority groups are more engaged in politics than White British people, according to new research undertaken by specialists from The University of Manchester, St Andrews, Essex, and Nottingham.

The Centre on the Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) is conducting the Evidence for Equality National assessment (EVENS), a large new assessment on racism and ethnic inequality. Between February and October 2021, 14,200 participants rated their political interest.

How the large political parties are presenting themselves on matters relevant to these groups

Compared to 60% of White British, White Eastern European, and Gypsy/Traveller groups, ethnic and religious minority groups were substantially more politically engaged. Black African (78%), Mixed White and Black African (78%), Any other mixed origin (77%), Indian (77%), Jewish (81%), and White Irish (83%) groups have political interest closer to 80%. Politics intrigued 31% of Roma.

“The relatively high political interest amongst most ethnic minority groups clearly shows that political parties need to seriously engage with the ethnic minority electorate, and their particular needs and concerns,” stated Dr. Magda Borkowska, University of Essex and EVENS researcher. “As demographic change increases ethnic minority population, ethnic minority vote will increasingly matter for election results.”

“Despite many people from ethnic and religious minorities reporting high levels of interest in politics, we also know that society is not addressing the basic equality needs for many minority groups,” said Professor James Nazroo, University of Manchester and EVENS research team member. Our research uncovered persistent prejudice and unacceptable health, housing, and employment disparities for numerous minority groups. With this data, we push legislators to reduce inequality.”

Ethnic and religious minority voters: electoral winners?

The survey questioned about political party preferences. White British people (73%), Bangladeshi and Pakistani people (79%), and Jewish people (80%) favored a political party. 62% of Mixed White and Asian persons and 63% of White Eastern European people said they would vote for a party. Roma people favored one party (33%).

Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black African, and Black Caribbean voters supported Labour over 60%. Jewish respondents were 50% Conservative, whereas Black Caribbean respondents were 14%. The Liberal Democrats had the most support among White Eastern European, Chinese, and White Other groups (20-30% each). White British respondents backed 35% Labour, 35% Conservative, 10% Liberal Democrat, and 20% other parties.

“EVENS is the first nationally representative study since 2010 that allows for detailed analysis of political interest and preference in ethnic and religious minority groups,” said Professor Nissa Finney, University of St Andrews and EVENS researcher. “The innovative, robust survey techniques used mean we have a larger, more detailed dataset on British ethnic and religious minority groups than ever before.”

The Economic and Social Research Council financed EVENS, the most extensive ethnic and religious inequality survey in Britain in 25 years. It’s made with 13 nonprofits and social enterprises.

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