The Conservative Party performed half as well with non-white voters as with white voters in the 2017 General Election, according to available polling data on the ethnic minority vote. Bridging that ‘ethnic minority voting gap’ would have secured Theresa May a comfortable majority.
‘Mind the gap: How the ethnic minority vote cost Theresa May her majority,’ projects what would have happened if the Conservatives had extended its appeal to ethnic minority voters. Distributing these votes according to the ethnic make-up of each constituency, the analysis offers a hypothetical picture of how increased ‘minority appeal’ would have translated into seats.
The report explores why ethnic minority voters turned away from Theresa May’s party in 2017 and offers lessons for the future.
It finds finds that:
- Appealing to non-white voters to the same extent as white voters would have secured an additional 600,000 votes, delivering a Commons majority of 42 seats
- In 16 of the 28 seats that Labour took from the Conservatives the ethnic minority vote was critical, with Labour’s lead with ethnic minority voters larger than the overall majority by which they won.
- The failure to appeal to non-white voters also meant the Conservatives fell short in seven seats that they would otherwise have taken from Labour.
- The Conservatives could have won an additional five seats from the SNP or LibDems had they extended their appeal to non-white voters.