The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) released a list on Monday of 31 marginal seats in which Muslim voters could have “high” or “medium” impact.
Top of the list is Kensington in west London, where the Labour candidate, Emma Dent Coad, is defending a majority of 20 against a strong challenge from the Liberal Democrat candidate, Sam Gyimah. Nine per cent of the constituency’s voting age population is Muslim – estimated at 5,431, or 271 times Dent Coad’s majority.
Also on the list of seats where Muslim votes could have high impact is Dudley North, where the former Labour party member Ian Austin, who has a majority of 22, has called on voters to back Boris Johnson; and Richmond Park, where the Conservative Zac Goldsmith is defending a majority of 45. In both constituencies, 4% of the voting age population is Muslim, or more than 70 times the majority of the sitting MP.
Fourteen of the 31 seats are held by Labour, 14 by the Conservatives and three by the SNP. The MCB, the main representative body for Muslims in the UK, is non-partisan.
Among the seats is Finchley and Golders Green, where the Conservative Mike Freer is being challenged by the Lib Dem Luciana Berger, who left the Labour party earlier this year over antisemitism. Much of the focus of candidates’ campaigns has been on the local Jewish population – 20% of the total – but according to the MCB data, 8% of voters are Muslim, translating to 3.5 times Freer’s majority.
Harun Khan, the MCB’s secretary general, said: “As active participants in our society, Muslims – in all their diversity – can play a significant role in what may become a close election, and we hope that the parties listen and reach out to Muslim communities across the country to engage on issues of concern.”
The MCB said it was focusing on increasing Muslim voter participation and encouraging communities to engage with the election debate.
Source: The Guardian