There was a particularly interesting documentary on Radio 4 this week (link below) about why so few ethnic minority voters are happy to vote Tory called ‘Operation Black Vote’. According to this program, in the last general election the Conservatives received a smaller portion of the ethnic minority vote than Donald Trump did during the 2016 presidential election.
There were some similarly alarming facts all the way through the program:
- Once an area becomes more then 30% non-white. It becomes essentially impossible for the Tories to win that seat.
- 70%-80% of the non-white vote goes to the Labour party
- Being perceived as ‘anti-immigrant’ has a massive knock on effect on the amount of young voters a party attracts.
Although the program was focused on the Conservative party, and I do not support the Conservatives. Being the insufferable optimist that I am,I thought that there were some positive things to take away from this insightful documentary.
We are often left to believe (by those on the left and right) that a pro individual freedom and pro capitalist message simply does not wash with ethnic minorities. One of the things that this short doc made clear is that this simply is not true.
Almost by definition immigrants and the children of immigrants are often eager to improve their lot in life. For many of the interviewees, the Conservative message mattered very little. What mattered more was the perception of the Conservative party. The legacy of Enoch Powell, ‘the cricket test’ and opposition to migration all contribute to make the Tory brand toxic for many minority voters.
But more importantly the idea that certain ‘kinds’ of people are just not receptive to free market ideas is one that I think should be challenged.