Home Uncategorized Cost Of Living For British Indian Voters Could Trump Rishi Sunak’s Pride

Cost Of Living For British Indian Voters Could Trump Rishi Sunak’s Pride


UK Polls: Cost Of Living For British Indian Voters Could Trump Rishi Sunak's Pride

Rishi Sunak did meet his pledge to bring down inflation from the soaring levels (File)


The UK’s historic general election on Thursday marks the first real test at the ballot box for Rishi Sunak when pride in Britain’s first Prime Minister of Indian heritage might be trumped by the cost-of-living crisis and sheer fatigue with 14 long years of a Conservative Party-led government.

Exactly how the votes stack up will start to unfold only once polling closes but YouGov’s final large-scale poll for ‘The Times’ on the eve of the election suggests the Opposition Labour could be handed a so-called “supermajority” – indicating a 212-seat parliamentary majority and the highest in decades.

But whatever the final outcome, this pattern is more a reflection of the political turmoil that ultimately brought Mr Sunak into 10 Downing Street than a vote against his own leadership.

“I think for British Indian voters, in particular, this election is similar to the rest of the electorate; they’ve been given a chance to choose to keep or remove the government and after 14 years of a Conservative government, the mood is much more for change than for maintaining it,” reflected Sunder Katwala, Director of the British Future think tank.

“There’ll be a sense, I think, of regret and disappointment that this didn’t go better for Rishi Sunak as there was great pride… but people aren’t going to make their voting choice on that basis. And that’s why I think, more British Indian voters are going to vote for change than vote for keeping Rishi Sunak, even though they appreciate his historic achievement in being the first British Prime Minister of Indian heritage,” he noted.

Against this backdrop, the issues that would influence British Indian voters would echo wider concerns such as the cost-of-living crisis, the National Health Service (NHS) waiting lists and getting a grip on illegal migration.

While Mr Sunak did meet his pledge to bring down inflation from the soaring levels he inherited in the aftermath of the chaotic terms of predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss, it may not prove enough to get him over the line at the ballot box.

“I don’t know why he’s not going around to every single member of the Tory party inside of the government saying, ‘I told you so’… We’ve now reduced inflation down from the high of 11 per cent down to 2 per cent. We’ve seen the underlying economic outlook for the country improving since Mr Sunak took office in October 2022.

“But the problem we have is that people have long memories of a time when we forgot what it was to be a Conservative,” Andrew Boff, Tory Chair of the London Assembly, said during an election debate hosted by ‘Eastern Eye’ earlier this week.

“Rishi Sunak, at one level, was a breath of fresh air because he’s clearly an extremely bright, decent man attempting to do his best… [but] not much has changed since he became Prime Minister,” said Lord Richard Newby, Leader of the Lib Dems in the House of Lords, during the event.

For Anneliese Dodds, Labour Party chair and shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, Mr Sunak’s term marked a “huge amount of continuity” with his embattled predecessors.

However, if the outcome of the election indicates a definitive shift among British Indian voters towards Labour, it would be seen more as a vote in favour of change rather than a decisive ballot in favour of party leader Keir Starmer – who is simply being viewed as a “choose-able alternative”, according to poll analysts.

Once the final outcome is clear on Friday, the conversation will instantly shift towards 44-year-old Sunak’s political future.

An immediate resignation as Tory leader is expected only if the party’s performance really is close to the disastrous levels forecast by some opinion polls.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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