Ethnic Minority Voters in 2015: A Breakthrough for the Conservative Party?
25 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2016 Last revised: 2 Feb 2017
Date Written: December 6, 2016
It is widely thought by politicians and journalists that the 2015 UK general election represented a breakthrough election for the Conservative party, where their vote share among ethnic minority voters increased, and overtook that of Labour for the first time among some groups. I show that this conclusion was based on misleading data, and that using more representative data yields markedly different results. The Conservatives increased their support among Hindus, but the Labour party gained in support elsewhere. This is due to movement away from the Liberal Democrats; 2010 ethnic minority supporters of the Liberal Democrats moved to supporting Labour rather than the Conservatives in 2014 at a ratio of 3:1. There is also considerable individual-level volatility in Labour and Conservative support among ethnic minorities, which is masked by a high level of stability at the aggregate level.
Keywords: ethnicity, ethnic minorities, dealignment, integration, opinion polling, turnout
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