Coffee House

Conservatives and ethnic minority voters: how the Immigration Bill might not help

6 May 2014

Policy Exchange’s report on the face of modern Britain this morning is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the way this country has changed and will change in years to come. But it is especially fascinating reading for those wondering how on earth the Conservative party can appeal to ethnic minority voters. This is partly because it makes quite clear that the party is currently not appealing to those voters: indeed, while politicians have a bad habit of lumping ‘ethnic minority’ voters together without good cause, the one thing that does lump these groups together is a reluctance to vote Conservative. The killer facts in the report on political engagement are as follows:

  • All minority groups overwhelmingly identify with and vote for the Labour party, with 68 per cent of minorities voting Labour in 2010, and just 16 per cent and 14 per cent backing the Conservatives and the Lib Dems respectively.
  • Indian voters are most likely to back the Conservatives, at 24 per cent, which is four times the proportion of Black African people likely to vote for the Tories at just 6 per cent.
  • The aversion to the Conservatives among ethnic minority voters is the same regardless of class, natural conservative convictions or whether those voters have recently arrived in this country.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 13.51.38


Why are so many ethnic minority voters switched off the Conservatives? Paul Goodman offers some thoughts here, while Sajid Javid told James earlier this year that ‘the damage that was done to the party’s image in the 1970s, particularly by Enoch Powell, is something we still haven’t been able to shake off’, and called for the Prime Minister to make clear in a speech that Powell ‘doesn’t represent what the Conservative party is today in any way and to set out what the Conservative party actually is when it comes to race relations, multiculturalism and so forth’.

But perhaps the government still isn’t helping itself here. The Immigration Bill is set to return to the Commons shortly after it passes its third reading in the Lords. The government looks set to try to overturn an amendment passed by peers which boots the controversial proposals to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’ into a committee, which effectively neuters the policy. Conservative MPs who were unsettled by this last-minute proposal when it was snuck into the legislation during the fuss about Dominic Raab’s troublemaking amendment are still trying to work out how they will vote.

But when I spoke to Jacob Rees-Mogg, who expressed concern at the time, about the proposals today, he explained that his concern was that the government should not create two classes of British citizen: the first being those born here who cannot be rendered stateless, and the second one being those who were not born here who could, if the government gets its way, be rendered stateless. For the first group, citizenship would be permanent, for the second, it would come under threat. Rees-Mogg said:

‘We would be creating a second class of citizenship. People who were born here can’t have their citizenship taken away. There is in my view a fundamental equality in British citizenship. You are either a British citizen or you are not. My concern is we could be creating two tiers for British citizenship.’

As Alex argues in his post on the Policy Exchange report, Britain is such an attractive place that people want to come here, and want to settle here, and when they do, they feel more British than the British, to adapt an old saying. The report found that ethnic minorities are three times more likely than the white population to see ‘being British’ as a part of their identity. Those who want to settle here want to be absolutely British citizens, not semi-British citizens who could lose that right. This is the crux of Rees-Mogg’s argument and one that should concern those mulling their party’s long-term appeal to the voters who currently feel the Tories have nothing to say to or for them. It won’t solve the problem by any means, but giving it a bit more thought might prevent the problem from getting worse.

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  • Akira Seung

    Britain’s government faced a setback in expanding its powers to revoke a person’s citizenship when the House of Lords denied the requested expansion..learn more from

  • Cobbett

    ”As Alex argues in his post on the Policy Exchange report, Britain is such an attractive place that people want to come here, and want to settle here, and when they do, they feel more British than the British”

    It’s becoming less attractive by the year…due in no small part to immigration. As for being more’ British than the British’…what tosh. We tend to see ourselves as English,Scottish and Welsh first.

  • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

    Labour’s election strategy, Immigrants

  • black11hawk

    Mr Rees-Mogg is no doubt trying to redeem himself after that Traditional Britain Group dinner last year.

  • Martin Jennerson

    “As Alex argues in his post
    on the Policy Exchange report, Britain is such an attractive place that
    people want to come here, and want to settle here, and when they do,
    they feel more British than the British, to adapt an old saying.”

    Oh well great – let’s just give our country away, other ethnicities obviously want it more than us.

  • Conway

    In those graphs you have a visual representation of the reasons why Labour imported so many people.

  • cartimandua

    Surely aspirational people all want the same regardless of the colour of their skin.
    The very last thing anyone should be doing is genuflecting to primitive customs in order to garner ethnic minority votes.
    Ban the burka and arranged marriage from “abroad”. All that is about chain migration.
    And another thing. The people most likely to be pushed out of work by a new tranche of migrants skilled or unskilled are those very same ethnic minority people.
    So shut the flippin door until no Mothers son or daughter is without work or hope.
    Stop new people coming in for work and stop foreign people buying particularly in London. They push up the prices and there again who do you think suffers most?

  • Slicer

    “As Alex argues in his post on the Policy Exchange report, Britain is such an attractive place that people want to come here, and want to settle here, and when they do, they feel more British than the British”

    They aren’t coming to “Britain” they are coming to England and why do they deem it an attractive place? Because they can live in a ghetto amongst their own people at the expense of the host population courtesy of a very generous welfare state. It is also very naive to actually believe they feel “British”. Most of the second generation immigrants born here have a stronger affinity to the country their parents came from, despite in many cases never having even been there.

    • Conway

      … people want to come here, and want to settle here, and when they do, they feel more British than the British” All I can say is that they have a very strange way of showing it, then. It is not British to subjugate women, nor is it British to hide your face. It is, however, British to speak English.


    There was another survey the other day that said when ethnic minorities move from their communities in to white suburbs and become more middle class, they switch to voting Conservative anyway. It also found that it did not work the other way. People moving to ethnic minority areas did not switch to Labour.

    The big mistake would be for the Conservative party to go soft on immigration in the hope of attracting ethnic minorities. The first effect of this would be to bring in more Labour voters, the second would be to make UKIP look like the real deal not the Tories and finally just like gay marriage, it will not get them any more minority votes.

    Those ethnic minorities who are now middle class and well off will not switch back to Labour because of immigration policy. Remember if they want to bring over a relative they can afford Theresa May’s £18,600 minimum earning level for spouse visas.

    I also don’t think the Conservatives will ever get the West Indian vote. Mainly because unlike British Indians, they are not moving out of minority areas so continue to vote Labour. That and the fact that they work in the public sector mostly. Plus their memories of past racism is still an important issue. Pakistanis also don’t move out of their community’s because they want to prevent their cultural identity being diluted. They are probably the most resentful about immigration controls, especially in family migration.

    • Conway

      Pakistanis also don’t move out of their community’s [sic] because they want to prevent their cultural identity being diluted.” It doesn’t seem to matter to anyone that the English are having their cultural identity diluted. Indeed, if we speak up about our concerns we are accused of racism.


    The solution is to insist on dual citizenship. If they try to give up one they automatically lose their British citizenship. That way this amendment will not be necessary. Citizenship is far too easy to get anyway. Six years after stepping off the plane, filling in a few forms, paying some money and doing a silly ceremony and bingo your British. Labour had the right idea about earned citizenship, although their version was helping out in the community etc. Perhaps 25 years working in the NHS, or the army, etc. should be required to become a UK citizen. That’s what the Romans did. Every one else just gets settlement.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    How nice if the tories and the Spectator were colour-blind. Oh, and Labour too.

    How does one become a member of a ‘community’ anyway?

    I notice I failed to capitalise tories. Do they deserve the T? On reflection, I’ll leave it.

    • you_kid

      “we have cut the deficit by a third”
      No you haven’t, you doubled the debt.
      “cut the cost of Europe – so we cut the EU budget, saving British taxpayers £8.15bn” (!)

  • fathomwest

    I am still awaiting a politician or commentator to say, or write, anything about the fact that all this mass immigration, which has changed the appearance of towns and cities, was never given approval by the people, that is the indigenous people of this island.

    Nor has the editor of the spectator ever written the article on mass immigration he promised over three years ago. Such is the state of mind of politicians and commentators.

  • Raw England

    Most blacks and Pakistanis vote Labour and other pro immigration parties for one main reason: They want England to become less White; AKA, less English.

    And when we get a non-White Prime Minister candidate, they’ll all vote for him.

    Its all about race.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    It’s amazing to me how casually the Camerloons talk right past the electorate.

    I mean, these poshboys are about to get cracked good and proper, and here they are today jabbering this nonsense, still, like wind-up dolls. It’s quite extraordinary.

    • you_kid

      We all gather you favour national socialist UKIP. No need to rub it in, lad.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …you mostly gather goats, don’t you, lad?

        • you_kid

          As you rightly pointed out the other day, I now herd the socialist goats whenever I see them. Your scent cannot be missed, lad. How’s the UKIP grandstanding in energy coming along – that is your speciality I gather.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

            • you_kid

              Have a downtick on me, boy.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                …so you and your goats have ticks? How unsurprising.

                • you_kid

                  Lad, your national socialist affinities are well-known of these pages. Conventional ethics are just not good enough for you. It appears indeed so that I am not the only one who sees right through you.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Again, can any other of you socialist nutters translate this nutter’s gibberish?

  • realfish

    I am willing to believe that most (but not all), most immigrants come to Britain to build a better life for themselves and their families. Very many have done so with spectacular success and will continue to do so.

    The sooner those from ethnic minorities realise that their fortunes and wellbeing are better served by a government that will encourage success and aspiration, the better. And the sooner that people realise that their aspirations will not be served by a suffocating, Marxist clique, that prefers control to achievement and ‘client state’ dependency to independence, the better off we will all be.

    BTW: I see from the photo that Jacob has been well and truly defeated by that new-fangled sewing machine which has ended up on the shelf. Such is the fate of new technology in the wrong hands.

  • Colonel Mustard

    There is a most unfortunate mixed message here. Trying to tailor policies towards ethnic minorities is to continue to difference them and I can’t see how that works towards integration or equality. The sooner ethnicity is disregarded completely the better but that narrative is constrained for conservative politicians through fear of offending and of the ubiquitous leftist faux outrage lobby who can be relied upon to come howling over any perceived infraction of speech regardless of context or intent. Once a party is smeared as being racist the opportunity for dispassionate objectivity in debate is well and truly compromised, as we have so recently seen.

    A demand that people should be treated equally and not discriminated against but at the same time that ethnic identity should be recognised and accommodated seems paradoxical and to perpetuate the contradictions of the multi-culturalism which has supposedly been conceded as a failure.

    It is ridiculous that the same people bleating about ‘one nation’ are talking about tailoring policies to “meet the needs” of various identity groups which will only lead to more division and resentment and a more unequal society. What is needed is one absolutely impartial approach to “British people” as a whole and one rule of law that all must abide by.

  • Shorne

    “called for the Prime Minister to make clear in a speech that Powell ‘doesn’t represent what the Conservative party is today in any way”. I can only assume that Mr. Rees Mogg never reads newspaper or magazine comment columns.

  • zanzamander

    I doubt if any immigrant who has come to this country after Thatcher (and the vast majority of them have only come here during of Blair/Brown misrule) has even heard of Enoch Powell, let alone associate the present day Tory party with him. So for Sajid Javid to bring him up smacks of some hidden agenda.

    There is no need for the “Prime Minister to make [it] clear in a speech that Powell doesn’t represent what the Conservative party is today” as he is asking. Also what about the new immigrants who come in after he makes such a speech? Does he have to have it written on his (and all future Tory leaders’) foreheads so that all new immigrants will know and he doesn’t have to keep repeating it?

    The fact of the matter is that most immigrants (especially from the Pakistan/Bangladesh) will never vote for Tory because Tory means patriotism, Judeo-Christian heritage, respect for law and order and pride in our culture – everything that many of them are against.

    This has nothing to do with economic policy but everything to do with culture.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Isn’t learning about Powell considered part of citizenship classes, alongside the lessons on how to claim benefits?

    • Conway

      Tory means patriotism, Judeo-Christian heritage, respect for law and order and pride in our culture” Well, it used to, but I doubt it does now under Dave’s lot.

  • foxoles

    ‘All minority groups overwhelmingly identify with and vote for the Labour party’

    Of course they do – that’s why Labour imported so many millions more of them.

    • zanzamander

      And that is why the Democrats in US want to give illegals an amnesty.

      I have always said, why would anyone who is dependent on welfare (as our vast majority of immigrant population seem to be) ever vote for a party that promises to put a stop to the gravy train.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        They won’t, and that’s why the Camerluvvies will never stop it, nor will they ever stop the unfettered flow of immigration.

  • zanzamander

    This report puts paid to the myth of (all) immigrants being hardworking, enterprising and not being drain on our economy.

    The reason why immigrants vote for Socialists is because Labour want to increase the welfare state, increase taxes, rob the wealthy, increase immigration and create a society that is ever dependent to government handouts – all policies that help both our resident lazy layabouts and immigrants (evidently from the above report).

    Tories, OTOH, want to cut waste, reduce government spending, help businesses, create jobs etc. – all policies that lazy layabouts and immigrants hate.

    If immigrants wanted to create wealth, get rich and be entrepreneurial, they’d obviously vote Tory, as only a tiny group of immigrants (Indians) already do.

    So, it could be deduced that immigrants (from countries that do not vote for progress, liberty, wealth and enterprise) = more drain on economy. Never let anyone gull you by telling you the opposite.

    • Mr Creosote

      “If immigrants wanted to create wealth, get rich and be entrepreneurial, they’d obviously vote” …..UKIP

    • the viceroy’s gin

      “Tories, OTOH, want to cut waste, reduce government spending, help businesses, create jobs etc…”



      If you actually believe any of these LibLabCon clones care about any of that, then I have a dozen bridges I want to sell you. The entirety of these socialists are locked-in tight on this mass immigration and the EUSSR project.

  • Graeme S

    The sooner we re-export all these voters from whence they came the better …. talk about fifth column , it is laughable

  • Hello

    I hate to point out the obvious, but far more important than making the Conservatives appealing to ethnic minorities is to make the Labour party unappealing to ethnic minorities. Once that’s been achieved then you can start worrying about being “appealing”, but first the playing field has to be levelled.

    • itdoesntaddup

      Perhaps the future of the Labour party is to be dominated entirely by ethnic minorities. We will then have an ugly, racial politics.

      • Hello

        It seems unlikely, because they would never be in power. Minorities are annoying like that — they’re minorities.

        • itdoesntaddup

          We have a minority in power right now. Lib Dems. All it takes is to have the casting vote.

        • Conway

          When they are fast breeders, it doesn’t take long for a minority to cease to be a minority.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Hmmmm well it won’t be the lack of ethnic minority votes that will see the Tories kicked out of government..The trouble with the Tories is that they have their heads so far up their own insecure tender egotistical orifices that they have become Labour’s b*tches

  • itdoesntaddup

    In times gone by those born here could be banished or transported. Why make the distinction based on country of birth, rather than country of naturalisation for those who are essentially traitors? We can still expel diplomats for activities incompatible with their status, which include basic criminality as well as going beyond the Vienna Convention. Why not recent immigrants too? We appear to have encouraged some of the worst British born spies to defect rather than be prosecuted in the Cold War era. Why not now?

    Part of our problem has been too great a willingness to grant citizenship to those who are not really citizens, but live outside British society – we should be seeing 100% of those granted citizenship considering themselves to be British, not just 2 in 3. For too many it is a flag of convenience.

  • RavenRandom

    You know, I’m just so tired of this. You want to know why UKIP support rises then read the opinion pieces in metropolitan newspapers. Many articles practically rub their hands in glee at the end of Britain and Balkanisation of England.
    The European superstate looms and Labour won’t even give us a vote to decide whether we want it.
    Meanwhile the indigenous English are expected to welcome our foreign hordes (no vote again naturally), because apparently only the indigenous populations of other countries count. If you don’t welcome them, then expect to be called racist.
    Meanwhile my country Great Britain might vote to break itself in two.
    How we’ve been induced to self-suicide our society like this is beyond me.

    • Smithersjones2013

      And they wonder why 85% of those who identified themselves as ‘English’ in the 2011 census identified themselves as ‘English Only’ and declined the opportunity to identify themselves as ‘English and British’. That’s over 32 million English people who no longer identify with their government.

      PS Its also true of the Welsh as well.

    • you_kid

      You see, we love English democracy and how it all works out.
      Unlike Kosovo we have no Parliament in England, but hey, who needs one when you have UKIP raking in the bigot vote but as soon as the bigots actually attempt to speak they are silenced?
      We love that. It’s so cool.

    • Tom Allalone

      Another bubble article. Isabel Hardman is not going to see her wages undercut by immigrant competition. If she has children they will not attend schools where their education is held back by other pupils who can’t speak English. She will not find herself stuck on a waiting list because a rising population is straining the NHS to the limit. I don’t think she has the slightest conception of what it’s like outside the bubble or the level of anger

  • Alexsandr

    a party that worries how the immigrants may vote is on bad territory. Its policies should attract a broad church of voters and not pander to minorities.

  • Keith D

    Of course a higher proportion of Indian background voters vote Tory. However they’re not the ones Labour imposed on us from the 90’s to rub our noses in diversity.

    Lets be honest here for once, the big problem isn’t how Indian, Polish or Carribean descent people vote. The problem is how our growing Islamic “community” votes and behaves.
    Thanks Labour, on behalf of my children and grandchildren, for the horrors you’ve bestowed on them.

    • Hello

      Where exactly did this obsession with a sort of Trojan horse Islamism come from? It’s completely absurd, and it’s even more absurd the way that conservatives attached themselves to it so willingly.

      In the end they will integrate.

      • Keith D

        Where did it come from? 25000 lethal terror attacks since 9/11. Bomb plots, FGM, rape gangs, muslim patrols and a constant flow of jihadists from these shores to Syria. Any country with 10% muslim population experiences violence on religious grounds.

        Maybe its everyone elses fault. Of course it is, because we are infidels.

        • Hello

          That’s a list of crimes, not proof of some sort of insurgency. FGM is illegal. Gang rapes are illegal. Terror attacks are illegal. I see little proof that the direction of travel is to legalise these things. I think it unlikely that in 10 years time we’ll be legalising terrorist attacks provided that they are targeting white people.

          As for Muslim patrols. I don’t know what this entails, but I really don’t care. And if Jihadists are off to Syria instead of sticking around here to execute on their master plan to take over the country in their very own, beautifully subtle way (suicide bombing and terrorist attacks) then clearly they’re no longer interested.

          • Keith D

            Please illuminate where any of that provides encouragement that they will integrate. Supremacist separatism is the order of the day. From school onwards.

            • Hello

              From school onwards? Oh, you mean the stories that you see on the news? And why do you see them on the news? Because they are deemed unacceptable. Little proof of insurgency working out there.

              They will integrate because it will be impossible to avoid it. Because our legal system doesn’t allow people absolute control over other peoples lives, and the methods they use to isolate themselves will one by one be closed down. Their children will eventually marry outside their community, and the boundaries of that community will disappear.

              • Keith D

                I dont share your optimism although I wish I could. History vindicates my position I’m afraid.

                • Hello

                  How does history vindicate your position?

                • Keith D

                  Because integration is never on the agenda. In the interests of brevity, please research the histories of countries with large Islamic minorities. Or the fate of “infidels” in Islamic majority countries. Theres only too many examples. If you reply without doing, well I’ll leave you to it.

                  Violence, misogyny and supremacism dont respect our laws or customs do they?

                • Hello

                  I’m sorry, but this is your position. I’m not going to research your arguments for you. If there is some literature that you’d like to point me to that proves your point, then be my guest.

                • Keith D

                  My argument doesn’t need research. Its evident in every corner of the globe, and in daily tales of horror, except for those too blind or ignorant to care. Bye now, I’m leaving you to your utopia.

                • Hello

                  You said that history vindicates your position. If that’s the case then give me an example.

                • Keith D

                  Why should I ?. You’re the one arguing from an untenable position.
                  But here goes
                  Exhibit A The Koran.
                  All horrors listed can be found mandated in that evil book. But you wont read it will you?
                  Nope, you’re right, the rest of us loons who imagined it all.

                • Hello

                  No. You were arguing that history vindicated your position — your position was that integration won’t happen, that these horrors are here for good.

                • Martin Adamson

                  Because in every single country in the world that is now a majority muslim country, muslims were once a minority.

                • Hello

                  You are joking, aren’t you? You could say the same about almost anything, that doesn’t prove a rule.

                • Cooper1992

                  You forgot to mention the 7th July 2005.

                  A date that should be etched into the memory of every Englishman, but an event that our politicians seem to have forgotten about.

                  Apparently the act was committed by Britons too.

                • Keith D

                  Just like these murderers in Syria with English accents are described as British by our beloved media. Sickening.

              • Cooper1992

                “They will integrate because it will be impossible to avoid it”

                Is it? Is it really? Migrant communities are now so large that it really isn’t the case now. Throw in the internet, and you really don’t need to assimilate now.

                I know it is Russia Today, but I suggest you watch this 26 minute documentary about the immigrants of Amsterdam.

                Whilst it shows some immigrants learning Dutch it also interviews many immigrants who have lived in Amsterdam for 10+ years and yet who don’t know the language.


                • Hello

                  Perhaps, but there’s little proof that the indigenous Dutch population is becoming less literate as a result.

          • Tom Allalone

            Muslim patrols involve women being abused and attacked for the way they appear, gays being attacked because of their sexuality and people exercising their right to drink being attacked. Even Peter Tatchell is p*ssed off. You may not care but people expecting their rights to be protected by the law may have a different opinion. I’m going to break Godwin’s Law but your sort of head in the sand attitude is identical to that of appeasers in the 30s – any evidence that doesn’t fit is ignored.

            Finally, if integration is such a success story how come third generation Muslims are more intolerant and separatist than their parents and grandparents? I come from one of the most heavily immigrant towns in England and I never saw a burka when I was growing up – now the are a common sight.

          • Conway

            As for Muslim patrols. I don’t know what this entails, but I really don’t care” You might if you were female, or homosexual, or even just liked a drink.

    • Martin Adamson

      Every Western country which has allowed mass immigration has seen that ethnic minorities will vote for parties of the left in massive numbers. There is not a single exception. It’s the reason why the first instinct of every Western party in power is to increase mass immigration. Unfortunately, with the possible exception of Australia and the Tea Party in the USA, the response of the parties of the right has always been to move leftward in an attempt to beg favour with these new voters who will never, ever vote for them in substantial numbers. It’s one of the most successful con tricks in history.

    • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

      Labour’s election strategy, Immigrants for votes, immigrants also
      drive down wages and prevent people from fining work, thus they fall into the benefit trap… … Which is strongly invested in by labour..

  • RavenRandom

    Looks like Labour was right then. Nice of them to undermine a whole society for a bit of political advantage.

    • John Dalton

      I don’t understand why I am supposed to be happy about the total transformation of my country in just a couple of decades that has been forced upon me by Labour and continues at an ever accelerating pace under the Conservatives.

      • berosos_bubos

        That was sarcasm.

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