Methodology for “Muslim voters may determine the next government”

24th Dec 2014

The Muslims News started by taking all constituencies where Muslims are at least 10% of the electorate, 80 constituencies in total. This was then split into two types of seats: safe and marginal constituencies, and applied two different statistical analysis.

The seats were split into these two categories because the politics of marginal seats and safe seats differ substantially. For the Muslims population the 2011 census was used. No predictions were made as to the growth of the population (bearing in mind the Muslim population is younger). The definition of each type of seat and the accompanying sensitivity test is as follows.

Marginal constituencies
A marginal constituency is one where the margin of victory is small, requiring a small change of voter patterns for the seats to change hands. There is no mathematical definition.

The Muslims News defined marginal constituencies where Muslims can play a significant role in the outcome of the elections. The statistical defined when the Muslim population is larger than 12.5% of the population of the constituency, the margin of victory is less than 17.5%, the Muslim population is three times greater than the margin of victory (in terms of real numbers not percentage of population) and there are more than 10,000 Muslims.

In such seats The Muslim News considers that the Muslim vote is a large enough bloc to play a significant role in the outcome of the elections. The following sensitivity tests were taken to determine this result:

Sensitivity tests in marginals
A sensitivity test is used to test the accuracy of statistical based results when there is a  significant amount of uncertainty. The Muslim News will change some of the factors in the analysis to show the different results that emerge. Then how definition of marginal seats where Muslims a significant role was chosen will be explained.

Test 1) Seats with the original definition, but the margin of victory is changed from 17.5% to 13%. Under these conditions two seats drop out from our original 25: Leyton and Wanstead and Manchester Gorton. We decided to keep these seats in the list of 25 because the Muslim population is both constituencies are large enough, 22.6% and 28.8% respectively, to play a significant outcome in the election. Any seat with a higher margin of victory falls under our safe seat category (see below).

Test 2) Seats with the original definition but when the Muslim population threshold was increased from 12.5% to 15%, 10 seats would drop out: Oldham East & Saddleworth, Peterborough, Ealing Central & Acton, Keighley, Harrow West, Harrow East, Enfield North, Halifax, Brentford & Isleworth and Hendon.

However, since all but Harrow West and Oldham East & Saddleworth are top target seats (targeted by a party), we’ve included them in. In target seat every vote counts, thus 12.5% of the constituents becomes a significant voting force. Harrow West and Oldham East & Saddleworth were included because if the seats are targeted or if a strong local candidate that appeals to Muslim stands for elections, this will put a significant dent in the incumbent’s chances of victory.

Test 3) Seats with the original definition but the condition that Muslims must be three times greater than the majority of victory is removed, then five constituencies are added: Brent North, Luton North, Ilford North, Derby South and Huddersfield. Doubtless, the Muslim vote is influential here, but more local research is required on each constituency to determine how influential the Muslim vote will be. Until that research is done these seats could not be included in the results.

Safe constituencies
Safe constituencies are defined as seats where the incumbent MP faces a minimal chance of losing their seat. Once again, there is no statistical definition.
For safe constituencies where Muslims can play an influential role a stricter definition was applied. The definition is: constituencies have to have a Muslim population over 20%, the margin of victory is over 17.5% and a Muslim population of over 10,000.
A Muslim population of 20% is the threshold The Muslim News chose this because it considered that this is a large enough bloc to threaten a safe seat. Further to this the following sensitivity tests were conducted:

Sensitivity tests in safe seats:

Test 1 – Seats with the original definition but the condition for seats with a Muslim population is increased to over 25% then the following five seats are taken out: Leicester East, Luton North, Birmingham Perry Barr, Edmonton and Oldham West and Royton. These seats won’t be removed from the list of 15 seats because a Muslim population above 20% is considered large enough to play an influential role in a safe seat.

Test 2 –  If the condition for seats with a Muslim population is decreased to over 17.5% then three seats are added: Bolton South East, Ealing Southall and Tottenham. These seats won’t be removed from the list of 15 seats because a Muslim population below 20% is not considered large enough to play an influential role in a safe seat.

Test 3 – If the condition for seats with a Muslim population is decreased to over 15% then ten seats are added: Ilford North, Ealing North, Feltham & Heston, Hayes and Harlington, Blackley and Broughton, Barking, Pendle, Bolton South East, Ealing Southall and Tottenham. These seats won’t be removed from the list of 15 seats because a Muslim population below 20% is not considered large enough to play an influential role in a safe seat. The Muslim News needed a cut off point, 20% was judged to be large enough to be a threat to a safe seat, while not being too small to be insignificant, which seats below 17.5% are. The Muslim News urges those interested in this to look at constituencies on an individual basis.

Pie charts
The pie charts were based on research conducted by Lord Ashcroft titled: Ethnic minority voters and the Conservative Party, published in 2012. The report could be found here.

Jobs discrimination against Muslims
Based on research by Dr Nabil Khattab and Professor Ron Johnston of Bristol University. “Ethnic and religious penalties in a changing British labour market from 2002 to 2010: the case of unemployment” Khattab, N. & Johnston, R. Jun 2013 In : Environment and Planning A. 45, 6, p. 1358-1371 14 p

Order of Muslim issues
Based on research conducted by Lord Ashcroft titled: Ethnic minority voters and the Conservative Party, published in 2012. The report could be found here.

33 Seats
The first sentence of the article is based on national polls taken between 07/11/2014 – 27/11/2014.

Fore more details see here.

 

Acknowledgment: Thanks to the input of Jamil Sherif of the Muslim Council of Britain for his help with the database.
Muslim voters may-determine next government

 

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

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The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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