The Indian diaspora is young, fast-growing, well-educated, and our new research shows that their political loyalty is changing.
Questions about the party’s resurrection have been circulating since Kair Starmer addressed the Labor Party for the first time at a proper conference. A nationwide poll on Westminster’s poll shows that it is closing the gap with Labor’s Tories, but it is unclear whether this is a sign of a structural shift in political supremacy or the result of a scandalous news cycle that has created a negative attitude towards the government. .
Starmer is still skeptical that he has done enough to reconnect with his party’s old white, working-class base, but the party’s problems go beyond demographics. Numerous anecdotal evidence suggests that British Indians, who, along with many other ethnic minorities, have been major voters for the Labor Party, have committed a number of offenses.
It would be important to change the form of voting in the British-Indian diaspora. Sixty years ago, India was the third most common birthplace for people born outside the United Kingdom; By 2011, it had become the most popular. The Indian diaspora is young, fast-growing, relatively well-educated, and one of Britain’s highest-paid ethnic groups. Despite the growing popularity of British Indians, few studies have been conducted on their political superiority. To better understand their attitudes, we conducted a new national survey of YouGov with about 800 eligible voters in the UK and India.
Although the British Indians still preferred the Labor Party, we found that the party’s historical advantage was lost. A 2010 poll found that 61 percent of British Indian workers supported Tori. According to our poll, only four out of 10 British Indians identify with the Labor Party, three out of 10 identify with the Conservative Party, and one in 10 identify themselves with other parties.
If early elections are held tomorrow, British Indians will be important voters. In the diaspora, Labor would have a 10-point advantage over the Conservatives in the predicted general election, but a significant minority (15%) remains uncertain.
The Tories have a lot to be happy about, but the fall of Labor did not automatically benefit the Conservatives. In fact, evidence from the British Electoral Survey (BES) shows that support for the British Conservative Party in India has declined. A growing percentage of those surveyed described other parties as supporting or “indecisive” instead of joining Tori. However, labor losses in the Indian diaspora are real and unique among South Asian minority communities: BES data does not mean that support for Bangladeshi or Pakistani workers has declined.
Of course, the British Indian Society is not monolithic. Two demographic factors, age and religion, are particularly important in understanding their party views. Young British Indians (18-29 years old) are the strongest supporters of the Labor Party, with the Conservatives 54% -21%. Among people aged 50 and over, the Labor advantage is only two points (37% – 35%). Furthermore, the views of British Indians are based on religion. The majority of respondents, Muslims and Sikhs, will vote for the Labor Party in a snap election, but the Conservatives will be the most popular party among Christians and Hindus. Given the relative demographics of the Hindus, the Labor Party’s problem with the British Indians is due to the fact that Hindu voters have fled its ranks.
How do you understand this important change in British Indian political behavior? It is worth mentioning three main drivers: the economy, the perception of the party’s “brand” and the attitude towards India.
British Indians, like other countries, are concerned about the economy and health. Boris Johnson’s government records are disappointing, but many criticize Labor’s policies. Indeed, the most common reason why British Indians do not join the Labor Party is the perception that it is under the influence of socialism.
Respondents do not have to have a clear understanding of nepotism in terms of representing British Indian interests in general, but religion is becoming a divisive line. 10 Four out of every Hindu reports that the Conservative Party is “closer” to the British Indians; The same percentage of Sikhs and Muslims say the same thing about Labor. In response, the majority of respondents directly identified Labor as the closest Muslim to other major minorities in South Asia.
Also, the position of the major parties on India is likely to shape party attitudes. For British Indians, foreign policy is not a priority in the election, and few report that British-Indian relations, defense and other security issues have a major impact on the vote. However, foreign policy positions can affect the party’s overall brand. After the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government abruptly abolished the constitutional independence of Jammu and Kashmir in 2019, the Labor Party issued an urgent proposal calling for international observers to enter the province. The decision divided the British Indians, including the Hindus. It is no coincidence that the British Hindus have the most unfavorable views of Pakistan, which is another factor that connects them to the Tories, who are less dependent on the views of the Pakistani diaspora.
Looking ahead, the two structural trends will determine how society shifts, such as emerging change and immigration.
The eastern orientation of the young British Indians suggests that the weakened position of the labor force may improve again as their ranks increase. Promoting leadership that is in line with British Indians will help to address the negative public perceptions of Boris Johnson in particular. However, if there is a Prime Minister who is ready to seduce British Indian voters, our research shows that it is Chancellor Rishi Sunak, not Kair Starmer.
On the other hand, immigration may negatively affect the position of the Labor Party. Many newcomers and newcomers from India seem to be conservative. In this context, India’s politically polarized environment, or the rising tide of Hindu nationalism in the BJP, may have an impact beyond the country’s borders, uniting Britain and India in the most unexpected way.