Diversity in Parliament - Predictions


Research by thinktank British Future has revealed that the Conservatives are likely to add three new Asian MPs to Parliament after the general election, whilst Labour look as if they will lose two of their own.

The Tory Asian candidates predicted to win seats are Resham Kotecha in Coventry North-West, Kashif Ali in Oldham East and Saddleworth, and Paul Uppal in Wolverhampton South-West (who lost his seat in 2015).

As it stands at the moment, the Conservatives have 17 MPs of ethnic minority backgrounds, whilst Labour have 23.

However, Labour MPs Rupa Huq (Ealing Central) and Tulip Siddiq (Hampstead and Kilburn) both have narrow majorities, and the research has indicated that they will find it difficult to defend their seats.

While any increase in the number of BME MPs is positive, the director of British Future, Sunder Katwala, has said that this is a ‘modest contribution’ to diversity, and the progress is ‘gradual rather than spectacular.’

If we are to trust the opinion polls, then it is likely that the new Parliament will have 22 minority Tory MPs, 21 Labour, and potentially one Asian SNP MP. This would total 44 BME MPs, which is only a small increase on the 41 that currently sit in Westminster. 

Katwala also drew attention to the fact that, for the first time in 30 years, Labour will probably not be contributing to an advance in diversity within Parliament.  This is not due to a lack of BME candidates, however.  Rather, ‘the simple political problem for Labour is that none of its general election target seats look winnable this time.’

It will be interesting to see how this plays out at the election in 3 weeks time. 


Talia Robinson