SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Keir Starmer failing to win support among British Muslims

New poll has shown that Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer is failing to win support among British Muslims

The research, commissioned by the Labour Muslim Network, found most Muslims in the UK support his party but the majority do not back Mr Starmer as leader.

The poll of 504 respondents across the UK found Mr Starmer had a net favourability rating of -7 per cent even though 53 per cent of those asked said they supported the party during the last election.

It comes before the Batley and Spen by-election in England on July 1. The contest is regarded as another test of Mr Starmer’s leadership after the party suffered heavy defeats in May elections.

More than a fifth of voters in the West Yorkshire seat are Muslim, according to 2011 census data. The seat was formerly held by murdered MP Jo Cox and is being contested by her sister Kim Leadbeater for Labour.

According to the poll results, 53 per cent of respondents said they voted Labour in the last election, compared with 11 per cent of respondents who said they cast their ballot for the Conservative Party.

Asked to rate Mr Starmer’s leadership from “strongly favourably” to “have not heard of”, 22 per cent of voters viewed the London-based politician favourably, compared with 29 per cent who viewed him unfavourably, giving a net favourability rating of -7 per cent.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson fared worse in the poll, with a net favourability rating of -32 per cent.

Most respondents said they identified with the Labour Party (72 per cent) rather than the Conservatives (9 per cent).

However, support for Labour has fallen, according to the poll, with its majority over the Conservatives shrinking by 11 per cent since the 2019 general election.

A Labour Party spokesman, commenting on the results, said: “The Labour Party is committed to a strong relationship with the Muslim community, and in our pursuit of building a better, fairer, more secure future for all, we will continue to robustly stand up for the rights of Muslims everywhere.”