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Muslim Voters Could Swing 31 Seats in UK Elections: Research

Preparing for the upcoming elections, a leading British Muslim group has released a list of constituencies where Muslim voters could swing seats as it pushed for a nationwide voter registration drive, The Guardian reported.

“As active participants in our society, Muslims – in all their diversity – can play a significant role in what may become a close election,” Harun Khan, the Muslim Council of Britain’s secretary-general, said.

“We hope that the parties listen and reach out to Muslim communities across the country to engage on issues of concern.”

Khan was speaking as the MCB released a list on Monday of 31 marginal seats in which Muslim voters could have a “high” or “medium” impact.

Fourteen of the 31 seats are held by Labour, 14 by the Conservatives and three by the SNP. The MCB, the main representative body for Muslims in the UK, is non-partisan.

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Muslim voters
Voters at a polling station for the European elections in May. Photograph: John Keeble/Getty Images

Muslim Voters Drive

Meanwhile, the group said it was focusing on increasing Muslim voter participation and encouraging communities to engage with the election debate.

On Friday, mosques and Muslim community organizations will take part in the first national Muslim voter registration day.

“It’s important that we all – young and old – realize our potential to make change through political participation,” Zara Mohammed, the MCB’s assistant secretary-general, said.

“Our votes matter. Be it the mosque, community organization, student society or women’s group, each of us can make a difference. This is as true in Ealing as in Edinburgh – we all have a responsibility to encourage as many people to register to vote.”

Mohammed Kozbar, chairman of the Finsbury Park mosque in Jeremy Corbyn’s Islington North constituency, which was attacked by a far-right terrorist in 2017, said: “At my mosque, we know the price we all pay when certain communities are excluded from politics.

“It is high time Muslims make their voices heard – especially as many Muslim communities are in seats where they can be the difference between one candidate or another ending up in parliament,” he added.

Nasir Mahmood of Birmingham Central Mosque, one of the largest in the UK, said it was “the civic duty of every citizen – Muslim or not – to exercise their democratic right to vote”.

The registration drive was key to “helping Muslims make their voices heard this election”.

Muslim Voters Could Swing 31 Seats in UK Elections: Research - About Islam

Voting Power

The estimates of 2009 suggested a total of about 2.4 million Muslims over all the UK. According to the Pew Forum, the number of Muslims in Britain could now be around 3 million.

Earlier this month, three leading British Muslim organizations urged Muslims to vote in the upcoming general election on December 12 to make their voices heard and exercise their civil obligations to fully engage in the society.

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), MEND (Muslim Engagement & Development), and Muslim Public Affairs Committee UK (MPACUK) said that Muslims have the power to decide the next government.