Do ethnic minority candidates mobilise ethnic minority voters? Evidence from the 2010 UK General Election

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

January 15, 2016


This article investigates whether ethnic minority individuals are more likely to vote when they can vote for a candidate who shares their ethnic background. It uses individual-level data from the 2010 Ethnic Minority British Election Study and finds that Pakistani individuals were more likely to vote when they had the opportunity to vote for a Pakistani candidate from the Labour party, and that this effect is due to people in their social network attempting to convince them how to vote. The same is true of Muslim voters and Muslim candidates. I interpret these results as evidence that biraderi is being used to mobilise these voters along ethnic lines. Muslim candidates from the Labour party are associated with lower turnout among Sikhs. However, there were no candidate mobilisation effects among Indians, black Caribbeans or black Africans, or for Conservative or Liberal Democrat candidates.

Published in

Parliamentary Affairs

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 69 , p.159 -180









Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest