“I was canvassing in Batley & Spen… & over & over again voters wanted to talk to me about Palestine. They were justifiably angry at the Labour Leadership’s failure to take a clear moral & practical stance in support of the Palestinian people.”Mish Rahman, Labour NEC member
New polling has revealed declining support for Labour and Keir Starmer amongst the British Muslim community, leading some in the Party to warn not to take the Muslim vote for granted.
Historically Muslims have been a central part of Labour’s vote, with 85% voting Labour in the 2017 general election. However in a poll of 504 British Muslims carried out by Survation on behalf of the Labour Muslim Network, 37% said their view of Labour had become more unfavourable over the past 12 months, with 25% saying it had become more favourable, a -12% drop in favourability. When asked about Keir Starmer 29% held unfavourable views, whilst 22% were favourable, giving him a net favourability of -7%, with the Party overall receiving a net favourability of +42%.
This comes in light of various issues facing Labour’s relationship with the British Muslim communtiy including a perceived failure to tackle Islamophobia in the Party, as well as the Party’s stance on Palestine and Kashmir.
Commenting on the polling, Labour NEC member Mish Rahman said:
“This polling reflects a disastrous failure of Starmer’s leadership to represent millions of Muslim voters, who are a key bedrock of Labour’s support.
I was canvassing in Batley and Spen this weekend, and over and over again voters wanted to talk to me about Palestine. They were justifiably angry at the Labour Leadership’s failure to take a clear moral and practical stance in support of the Palestinian people.
Only a bold vision that unites our coalition around a progressive foreign policy and a transformative economic offer, such as Green New Deal, will turn this situation around.
If we do not win this vote by a significant margin, Labour will not be on track to form a government at the next election, which would be disastrous for Starmer, for the Party and for the country.”
The polling comes as Labour face a challenge to hold on to their seat in the Batley and Spen by-election, facing competition from both the Conservatives as well as George Galloway who has made Palestine a centrepiece of his campaign. Leaflets being distributed by Labour’s candidate have emphasised her stance on Palestine and Kashmir have been circulated on Twitter, thought to be in response to the threat from Galloway.