Briefing: Religion and the UK General Election 2024

How will people from the religious traditions in the UK affect the vote in the General Election on 4 July? The majority of the UK population is affiliated to a religion – 63 per cent in England and Wales, 49 per cent in Scotland and 83 per cent in Northern Ireland. And in this Religion Media Centre briefing, faith representatives explained the issues for each group which will sway the vote, in addition to the usual election battlegrounds of the economy, the NHS and immigration.

This time a foreign policy issue – response to the war in Gaza – supersedes others for many Muslims. Antisemitism is a key issue for Jewish voters. Immigration and wealth tax are issues for some Hindu voters. And for Christians, it’s around social issues such as asylum seekers, poverty and support for families.

The briefing heard from researchers at the think tank Theos which has analysed voting data to discover the influence of religion on engagement, ideology and voting trends. One of its findings is that if Nigel Farage wants to make a pitch for a religious vote for his right-wing organisation Reform, then he should pitch to non-practising nostalgic Anglicans.

Rosie Dawson hosted the briefing with guests:

  • Paul Bickley, head of political engagement at Theos Think Tank
  • George Lapshynov, political researcher at Theos Think Tank
  • Sophie Cartwright, Jesuit Refugee service
  • Catherine Pepinster, Catholic commentator
  • Abubakr Nanabawa, national coordinator for the Muslim Vote campaign
  • Prof Adeela Shafi, founder of the Bristol Muslim Strategic Leadership Group
  • Miqdaad Versi, director for media monitoring at the Muslim Council of Britain
  • Jagdev Virdee, Editor British Sikh Report
  • Daniel Sugarman, Director of Public Affairs for the Board of Deputies
  • Dr Subir Sinha, director of the SOAS South Asia Institute

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Hannah Scott Joynt


Voice-over artist, award winning radio and TV presenter and BBC continuity announcer


Leo Devine

Leo's Local

Media and Training Consultant at Devine Media. Former BBC Journalist, Editor and Senior Leader


Rosie Dawson

Journo's Notebook

Freelance religion journalist, documentary maker and radio producer with 20+ years of experience in the BBC’s Religion and Ethics department

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