Middle England ‘Mondeo Man’ could be a member of the British Asian community, a think tank has claimed.
New research shows that David Cameron was returned to Number 10 with his unexpected Conservative majority following an increase in support from ethnic minority voters.
Although Labour remains the main party with minority voters, securing the support of 52 per cent, research by Survation for think tank British Future shows the gap between them and the Conservatives is narrowing significantly.
In 2015, one third of ethnic minority voters supported the Conservative Party, the strongest result the party has ever had during historical struggles to appeal to non-white voters. With the percentages translated into actual votes based on an estimated 3 million voters, this means for the first time in the Conservative party’s history it secured over one million votes
The break down in results shows that the party is most popular with the Asian community, securing 38 per cent of the vote whereas it only achieved 21 per cent of black voters who overwhelmingly identified as Labour supporters (67 per cent).
The finds led the Director of British Future, Sunder Katwala, to say “Ethnic minority votes are more ‘up for grabs’ than ever before.”
“While David Cameron clearly took a lot of votes from the Lib Dems in the election, he also seems to have extended his party’s appeal to ethnic minority voters too.
“Labour remains ahead with minority voters, but the party may have won too many of its minority votes in the wrong places electorally – doubling majorities in heartland urban seats that were already safe but slipping in the southern marginals.
“But in places like Watford, Swindon and Milton Keynes, Conservatives can be increasingly confident of their appeal to aspirational ethnic minority voters.
“The middle-England ‘Mondeo Man’ of the 2015 election could well be a British Asian.”
The survey also found that party support varied significantly depending on religion, with Hindus and Sikhs favouring the more business focused Tories and 64 per cent of Muslim ethnic minority voters supporting Labour, compared to only 25 per cent for the Conservatives.
It also showed that those who identified as Christian, whose roots are African and Afro-Caribbean predominantly, support Labour with only 31 per cent saying they supported David Cameron’s party.
As with the rest of the country, there were also significantly different trends in voting behaviour depending on region, with Labour dominating in the North and Midlands and the Conservatives gaining most of the support from minority groups in the wealthier Southern counties.
Omar Khan, director of the Runnymede Trust which describes itself as ‘the UK’s leading independent race equality think tank’ said the findings “confirm that Labour remains the preferred choice among BME voters.”
He added that the Conservatives had made “a breakthrough” by winning around a third of voters, “nearly matching their overall national vote share.”
“Labour’s vote share looks to have held up best in the top 75 most diverse seats in the UK, where half of BME people live. But with more and more BME people moving outside the major cities the conservatives appear well placed to make further gains in 2020 and beyond if they can respond to ethnic inequalities and realise BME aspirations while in government.”
The findings were based on an estimated 10 per cent of 29,973,577 GB votes cast.