Ethnic minority voters in the UK 2015 general election: a breakthrough for the Conservative party?

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Abstract

It was widely reported that the 2015 UK general election represented a breakthrough election for the Conservative party among ethnic minority voters specifically that their vote share among minorities increased, and overtook that of Labour for the first time among some groups. I show that analysis using more representative data yields markedly different results. Looking at (i) party preference from 2010 to 2015, and (ii) reported vote shares from a nationally representative probability survey, I show that 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 minority supporters of the Liberal Democrats moved to supporting Labour rather than the Conservatives in 2015 at a ratio of 2:1. There is also considerable individual level volatility in party support among ethnic minorities, which is masked by a high level of stability at the aggregate level.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-185
Number of pages11
JournalElectoral Studies
Volume57
Early online date15 Dec 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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