The left and minority representation: The labour party, muslim candidates, and inclusion tradeoffs

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Abstract

As ethnic diversity increases across Europe, the Left faces a trade-off between incorporating new minorities and retaining support from settled, working-class voters. An examination of the Labour Party's selection of Muslims, employing a dataset containing over 42,000 local election candidates in England, indicates that inclusion is less likely where core voters are most concerned about the representation of Muslims' material and religious interests, in economically deprived areas with sizable Muslim populations. In these areas Muslim candidates underperform at the polls, and labor parties are less likely to choose Muslim candidates as a result. Selection thus varies based on the economic and cultural threats that Muslim representation poses to the Left's core constituency. These findings contribute to understanding the forces that shape ethnic minority political incorporation across contexts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalComparative Politics
Volume46
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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