A South Asian, Sadiq Khan, was elected as Mayor of London for the first time, highlighting how multicultural the capital is. With less than 45% of the city’s population being White British, the colour of one’s skin is becoming much less important for elected politicians. The Scottish National Party lost their majority in the Scottish Parliament, severely denting their hopes of a second independence referendum should voters choose Brexit this June. More importantly on a national level, Scottish Labour fell behind the Conservatives, who overtook them as the second largest party in Scotland. These results set the trend for the remainder of the results around the country.
Labour did not do as badly as expected, but still much worse than how the opposition party is expected to perform in local and assembly elections. Despite gains in the London Assembly and winning the London Mayoralty, there has been little else to suggest a good performance from Labour. They also held onto their two mayoralties in Salford and Liverpool, but made no significant gains in other northern councils. Labour’s overall vote share grew slightly, and they held onto their two seats that were involved in by-elections. Labour also lost their majority in the Welsh Assembly.
A clear takeaway message from these results is that policy makers’ views on faith-based matters can have an impact on results. Jeremy Corbyn’s views on India and his lack of support for Hindu-related matters have lost him support in this key segment of the electorate.
The opinion poll run by NHSF (UK) showed a majority of Hindu students and youths electing to vote Conservative; an outcome that would certainly have been the reverse a decade ago. The results of these national elections continue to show that the Labour Party needs to do more to regain the trust of Hindus, which has been lost lately.
This is not just about Labour though; students have been undermined in political decisions and clearly feel strongly about this. This needs to be tackled by the Conservatives in the remaining four years of their government, to ensure students do not continue being taken for granted.
Regardless, we predict that Hindus would have continued to vote Conservatives based on the results of our national poll (http://www.nhsf.org.uk/2016/05/uk-local-elections-2016/) and from the poll in conjunction with City Hindus Network and the Hindu Lawyers Association for the London Mayoral Election (http://www.cityhindusnetwork.org.uk/about-us/mayoral-election-2016/).
Picture from www.getsurrey.co.uk