UK Muslims disappointed in Labour, huge drop in support: Poll

Support is seen falling from 86% to 60% since the 2019 elections, which the Labour Muslim Network, the poll commissioner, said showed a “crisis point” for the party’s strong popularity among Muslims.

  • Keir Starmer, Leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party delivers a speech at a business conference in London, February 1, 2024 (AP)

A new Survation survey demonstrates that support for the UK’s Labour Party among British Muslims has plunged amid concerns about Keir Starmer’s handling of the war on Gaza.

Support fell from 86% to 60% since the 2019 elections, which the Labour Muslim Network, the poll commissioner, said showed a “crisis point” for the party’s strong popularity among Muslims. The poll doesn’t take into consideration undecided voters, with whose inclusion the support drops lower to 43%.

38% of British Muslims said their belief in the Labour Party has decreased over the last 12 months.

In a statement, the Labour Muslim Network said on Monday, “Muslim voters have been watching and are now sending a clear message – they will not support any political party that does not fervently oppose the crimes committed against the people of Gaza,” adding, “The Labour leadership must change paths now or risk losing the support of the Muslim community for a generation.”

Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, stated that the reason behind the frustration is the party’s position on a Gaza ceasefire, “I’ve never seen this quantity of emails coming through my inbox,” he told ITV News.

Read next: UK Labour party reiterates need for ceasefire in Gaza

Neglecting ‘unresolved issues’

Mish Rahman, a left-wing Labour NEC member, relayed to The Independent that other bigger factors contributed to the loss of support.

“These findings are deeply worrying but unsurprising. For months I have been alarmed by the Labour leadership’s willingness to turn a blind eye to Islamophobia within the party”, adding, “Whether it’s the sheer disregard for Palestinian lives, the mistreatment of Muslim MPs like Apsana Begum and Zarah Sultana, or the refusal to take on bigots within their own ranks, it’s clear that the leadership is not taking this issue seriously.”

“This poll should be a wake-up call to change course before it’s too late”, he concluded. 

The UK’s first and only hijab-wearing MP, Apsana Begum, called out the Labour Party last week over delays with the internal probe into alleged harassment she experienced by her ex-husband, a Labour politician.

The MP accused the Party of failing to care for her as she awaits the outcome of the investigation almost three years after its launch. She additionally highlighted “unresolved issues” concerning the treatment of Black and Asian people within the Party as demonstrated in the Forde Report.

She also brought up Islamophobic abuse, death threats, and risks to her safety, that are left neglected. 


The Labour’s Muslim Network expressed: “The treatment of Apsana Begum is nothing short of a scandal”, which comes after other Black and Asian Labour MPs publicly criticised the party recently.

Diane Abbott, Britain’s first Black woman MP, posted on X/Twitter late last year, “As a Black woman, and someone on the left of the Labour Party, I have unfortunately been forced to reach the conclusion that I will not get a fair hearing from this Labour leadership.”

Ms Abbott is now an independent MP after being suspended and is pending an investigation into a letter she penned about racism to The Observer last year.

The MP for Coventry South, Zarah Sultana, requested an Islamophobia probe within the Labour Party in November after condemning Starmer’s attack ads against PM Rishi Sunak for “playing on racist tropes of Asian men”.

Kate Osamor, MP for Edmonton, was suspended from Labour earlier this week after naming “Israel’s” attacks on Palestine a “genocide”.

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