In a poll of 1,000 Sikh voters conducted on Saturday 7th December, 58% of those who have decided how to vote have said that they will vote Labour. The survey was conducted following the final leaders debate on Friday evening where Sikh voters were asked to provide reasons for their voting intentions.
According to the Sikh Federation UK, twenty-seven percent said they will vote Conservative whereas 8% registered Liberal Democrats as their preference and 15% remain undecided. In total 150 constituencies have been identified where there are at least 1,000 Sikh constituents and candidates have been sent the Sikh Manifesto 2020-2025 produced by the Sikh Network.
Labour had two existing Sikh MPs: Preet Kaur Gill the first Sikh woman MP and Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi the first turban wearing Sikh MP in comparison to the Conservatives which had no Sikh MP sitting in the Parliament. The Sikh poll suggests the issue of racism and hate towards Sikhs may be a key factor why Labour is ahead of the Conservatives when it comes to Sikh voters. Labour’s Race and Faith Manifesto addresses the growing Sikh hate crimes and also safeguards Sikh articles of faith. Jeremy Corbyn’s endorsement of the Sikh Manifesto has also put the Conservative Party on the back foot and at a disadvantage.
Virendra Sharma at Tudor Primary School in Ealing Southall
In the meantime, Sharma, who has represented the London constituency of Ealing Southall since 2007, has been actively campaigning with student groups, local councillors and volunteers in his ward alongside other Labour leaders such as Dr. Rupa Huq. Sharma is slated to retain his seat in the upcoming election.