With over a dozen Sikhs running for seats in last night’s election, many within the community were waiting for the results to come in to see if there would be a Sikh MP in parliament for the first time since 2015.
Here we bring you a comprehensive breakdown of just how the Sikh MP candidates did last night.
The results of the General Election 2017 saw history created for the Sikh community, as for the first time a Sikh female and a turban wearing Sikh became elected as MPs.
Both running for the Labour Party, Preet Kaur Gill was first to find out she had made history, winning over 6,000 more votes than the Tories to become the official MP for Edgbaston. News of Tanmanjeet Singh‘s success soon followed, with news of him winning the seat for Slough with a huge majority of 16,998.
Sikhs across the world and with varying political allegiances were quick to congratulate both on social media. The sentiment was especially echoed by UK Sikhs, largely due to both being recognised and respected community figures, as Sikh Press Association press officer Jasveer Singh explains.
“Both Tanmanjeet Singh and Preet Kaur are receiving so much praise for their achievements not simply because both are Sikh but because both have long been active figures within the Sikh community.
“Preet Kaur has always been a regular at national rallies and local events across the UK. She has never been afraid to publicly express the views of the Sikh community on subjects such as the Sikh Genocide of 1984. As a board member of the Sikh Network, Preet Kaur has been heavily involved in advocacy of the Sikh manifesto and also advising younger Sikhs on getting into politics.
“Tanmanjeet Singh was one of the first Sikhs to speak in the media following the 2015 General Election results, which saw no Sikh MPs elected anywhere in the country. He advocated a reaffirmed commitment from all Sikhs to push for political representation and now we see he has led the way in acting on his own words two years ago.
“During his campaign, Tanmanjeet Singh was receiving support from diverse figures within the Sikh community, from MMA instructors to langar sevadaars (communal food volunteers), due to his long-standing support for grassroots organisations. He remains the President of the UK Gatka (Sikh weaponry martial-art) Foundation and a trustee of Alzheimer’s and Dementia SS.
“Their job is now to serve the interests of their constituents. However, I am certain both will always remain connected to the Sikh community at all levels.”
Elsewhere, other Sikh candidates failed to match the success of Tanmanjeet Singh and Preet Kaur, with the two being the only Sikhs elected in the UK.
One of the most watched campaigns of any Sikh came from independent candidate, Jagmeet Singh, running in Wolverhampton South-West. A well known activist, Jagmeet Singh aimed to find a new way to make change by venturing into politics in his home city of Wolverhampton. Part of the newly formed (but not officially registered) Panth Party, Jagmeet Singh’s politics centred on Sikh ethos, advocating community spirit and a fearless approach to speaking on issues of concern. Jagmeet Singh won 358 votes in a seat he contested with fellow Sikh Paul Uppal, who was the MP for the area from 2010-2015. Uppal won over 18,000 votes for the Conservatives but was unable to topple Labour candidate Eleanor Smith, who is now the official MP for Wolverhampton South-West.
Bally Singh, Labour candidate for Kenilworth and Southam, came second to his Conservative counterpart Jeremy Wright in comprehensive fashion, with a huge 18,000 votes the difference between the two.
Kuldip Sahota, also for Labour, ran a much closer race with Conservative candidate Lucy Allan in Telford, with each getting over 21,000 votes and only 720 votes as the difference between the two.
In Feltham and Heston – a constituency with a large Sikh community – Samir Jassal of the Conservatives was unable to dethrone Seema Malhotra of Labour, taking just over 16,000 votes, half the number she won. Labour’s Rocky Gill found himself in a similar position in Hornchurch and Upminster, taking just under half the votes of the Conservative candidate winner, at 16,000.
Reena Ranger of the Conservatives was always going to find it hard in Birmingham Hall Green, a long time Labour stronghold, and ended up coming second to the Labour candidate by just under 34,000 votes, having won over 8,000 herself. Elsewhere in Birmingham, known to have a big Sikh population, the Birmingham Perry Barr area was contested by three Sikhs. Harjinder Singh, formerly of UKIP and now of his self-made Open Borders Party, based on a principle of more but better vetted immigration, won 99 votes, approximately 500 less than the Green Party’s Vijay Rana. Vijay’s haul was around half of what Harjun Singh of the Lib Dems received, meaning none of the three were close to the constituency’s winner, Khalid Mahmood of Labour, who has had the seat since 2001.
Running in Tewkesbury, Manjinder Singh Kang of the Labour Party came second to Conservative candidate Laurence Robertson, who took a majority of over 35,448, compared to Manjinder Singh’s 12,874.
For UKIP, who failed to win or retain a single seat, Vijay Srao was unable to challenge his Labour, Lib Dem or Conservative (the constituency winners) counterparts, taking just under 1300 votes. His fellow UKIP-er Bob Dhillon came last as Labour took Warwick and Leamington. Teenager Arran Rangi of the Green Party also came last in Ashfield (won by Labour on the day before the 18 year old’s history exam, meaning he went home before he had found out how he had done.
Finally, in Derby South the Lib Dem’s Joe Harjinder Singh Naitta came behind UKIP, the Conservatives and the majority winners Labour, as he picked up 1229 votes.
The Sikh participation and outcome is detailed more analytically in a press release from the Sikh Council. For this press release, or more information, please get in touch via Media@SikhPA.com.