December 10 2019, 18.00
Muslim voters could swing the results of four seats in south west London including some of the most marginal.
Information published by the Muslim Council of Britain shows Muslim voters could have a high impact in extremely marginal constituencies Kensington (majority of 20) and Richmond Park (majority of 45) as well as Putney and Westminster.
There are two million eligible Muslim voters in the UK whose votes could help swing constituencies.
Muslim Engagement and Development (MEND) CEO Dr Shazad Amin said: “It is clear that many Muslims have strong views on issues such as the growth and normalisation of Islamophobia in the UK.
“To influence Government policies to tackle this, it is vital that Muslims are engaged in the political process and vote for parties and candidates.”
MEND highlighted that some MPs who hold marginal seats have a track record of engaging in or endorsing Islamophobic behaviour.
The NGO drew attention to Zac Goldsmith’s 2016 mayoral bid in which he was accused of running an Islamophobic campaign against Sadiq Khan.
MEND’s analysis also showed that 21 out of the 50 highlighted marginal constituencies voted for a Conservative majority.
Only 17 of these marginal seats have a Labour majority.
Information published in a parliamentary report last month revealed ethnic minorities are generally less likely to vote than white people.
Wimbledon resident Qamar Ahmed, an Imam at Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, said: “I think it is really important to act on the right to vote.
“I would not be able to say even in my community who we are siding towards.
“Of course people will keep in mind Islamophobia and antisemitism but we would not want to judge someone right away.
“I speak to a lot of youngsters as an Imam and a lot of students like the idea of better education facilities, better healthcare and even the pledge for free internet.”
Turnout among ethnic minority voters was estimated to be around 59% at the 2017 General Election, 11 percentage points lower than turnout among white voters (70%).
Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.