:: Monday, March 29, 2004 ::

Muslim voters turn away from Labour

Those who misunderstand the demand for Scottish independence often try to portray it as racist and divisive. They may be surprised by this report in today's Herald of research by Glasgow University politics department. It shows 47% of Muslim Scots voting SNP compared with 27% of the rest of the population.

MUSLIMS are deserting Labour in droves and are now twice as likely to vote for the SNP as other Scots, new research reveals today. A study by Glasgow University shows that, between 2001 and 2003, Muslims in Scotland switched away from their traditional support for Labour. Many said their political preferences changed because of the party's stances on foreign policy and the war in Iraq.

What is also clear from the report is the effect that Labours support for war in Iraq has had.

Professor Miller believes hundreds switched because of the SNP's high profile anti-war campaign. He said: "By 2003, Muslims in Scotland were over twice as likely as the average Scot to vote for the Scottish National Party. No doubt they were responding to the SNP's line on the Iraq War.

The report shows that in England the Lib-Dems are the main benefactors of muslim dissent against Labour. The press coverage does not give a full breakdown of how muslim voters intend to vote and it would be interesting to see how the SSP and Greens fare. I would guess a strong showing for these parties too.

:: Alister | 2:57 pm | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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