17 May 2016

EU poll – ethnic minorities hold the balance of power

Channel 4 News has had an exclusive preview of the British Election Study’s latest survey of opinion on Europe. With a massive sample, 22,000 voters, it allows us to peer inside what is happening in the ethnic minority communities and the results are fascinating.

Table 1 suggests that opinion amongst white voters, polled up to 4 May, is absolutely neck and neck. But opinion amongst ethnic minority voters breaks 2 to 1 in favour of Remain. That, in these numbers, makes the difference and delivers a 43 per cent to 40.5 per cent victory for Remain over Leave (Don’t Knows excluded):


But look at Table 2 and you see what impact differential turnout could have. If you only take into account voters who are “very likely to vote” then Leave support amongst white voters jumps up 4 per cent. Ethnic minority voting now doesn’t do enough heavy lifting for Remain because of lower turnout in BAME communities. The overall result in this polling ends up at 45 per cent Leave and 44.5 per cent Remain:


Go to Table 3 and you see what the different turnout in different communities looks like according to this survey. It suggests that turnout in BAME communities is 20 to 25 per cent lower than amongst white voters. And this doesn’t take into account lower registration rates amongst BAME voters:


You’ll see that the sample size numbers (the “N” column in each table) shows relatively small samples for different ethnic minority groups, particularly voters of Bangladeshi origin. But the experts at the University of Manchester, who have weighted the samples to be representative of the general population, believe that the margin of lead for Remain in each community is so large that the overall picture, a strong lead for Remain in BAME communities, is robust. The full tables and other data from this survey will be published at the end of this month.

You can see the poll explained along with voices from Birmingham and London BAME communities in our report tonight at 7pm, followed by a live discussion amongst BAME communities which is presented by Krishnan Guru-Murthy from Leicester.

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7 reader comments

  1. Noah Spame says:

    The vote itself takes place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan where most will be fasting and observant, which from my experience would suggest that they’d be unlikely to vote. I know I won’t have the time.

    I suspect that will influence the turnout of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis.

  2. yorkshire Lass says:

    That programme was so annoying and exhibited the appalling ignorance which exists. Talk about pull the ladder up. Immigration, immigration, immigration. Yes, of course, leave the EU and suddenly we’ll have more houses, more school places, etc etc. No we won’t. We’ll still have a Tory Govt who don’t intend to improve anything for the common man/woman.

  3. Alan says:

    Using statistics to prove what you want others to believe doesn’t vindicate the criminality of fooling people, that their vote will alter the designs of those who claim leadership. The media’s complicity within this charade, although depressing is not unexpected.

  4. More Silent Majority says:

    so, groups that do not want to integrate with the ‘naive’ population’s culture & customs and are intent on maintaining their own at our expense are holding the balance.

    we are doomed.

  5. J. Smith says:

    Why oh why are the Irish allowed to vote and those idiots from Gibraltar. Neither are of English stock or British. The Gibraltarians are Spanish and the Irish are not British. No EU citizens should be allowed to vote either, it is for the British citizens to vote only.

    This election is rigged I hope the English vote to leave and the Jocks go their own way because they will be a basket case without any English money to keep them going..

  6. Elizabeth Dixon says:

    WHY CAN X PATS NOT TO VOTE WHEN THEY are BRITISH Citizens born there who have lived most of their lives there, people who can walk into the UK and get jobs and stay for 6 months can vote not British. I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD NOT BE GETTING TO VOTE, WE Who have dual citizenship should be able to vote by proxy, all our people fought for that country I think you need to get your facts right before you let people from other countries vote.

  7. Brian O'Malley says:

    On the comment that the Northern Irish are not “of English stock or British,” please consider a great many English-speaking people from Lowland Scotland and Northern England–the Anglo-Scottish Borders–were transplanted to Northern Ireland in the 1600s.
    Any Celtic Irish in their ancestry is likely to come from the Irish invasion of the North of England in the tenth century. That Irish is likely intermingled with Saxon, Viking, Franco-Norman and possible traces of Roman.
    You can check David Hackett Fischer’s ‘Albion’s Seed: Four British Folkways in America,’ which dedicates a section to Ulster settlers in America and their roots on the Anglo-Scottish border.
    For a work entirely dedicated to the region’s “reivers” (cattle rustlers) from the 13th through the 16th centuries, check George MacDonald Fraser, ‘The Steel Bonnets: The Story of the Anglo-Scottish Border Reivers.’
    As to whether or not “English” ethnicity has any bearing on a Briton’s right to vote, please consult a human rights lawyer.

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