One in three Londoners are uncomfortable with the prospect of having a Muslim mayor, a survey conducted this week by YouGov says. Despite the fact that London’s Muslim population has risen to 12.4 percent, according to 2011 census figures, many survey respondents still feel uneasy about having a Muslim lead the city.
The survey asked 1,153 London adults how comfortable or uncomfortable they felt about a number of scenarios. Fifty-five percent of respondents said they felt comfortable with the idea of a Muslim mayor, 31 percent said they didn't mind it, and 13 percent said they were unsure. However, when asked whether they felt comfortable with a mayor of an ethnic minority, only 13 percent of survey respondents answered that they were not.
The results of the survey came just less than a year before London elects a new mayor, the Independent reported Thursday. The city’s current mayor, Boris Johnson, is scheduled to step down in May, and one of the leading candidates to replace him, Sadiq Khan of the Labor party, is Muslim. Syed Kamall, a Conservative, is Muslim as well.
— Sadiq Khan MP (@SadiqKhan) August 13, 2015
— Patchwork Foundation (@UKPatchwork) August 10, 2015
The poll also found that 16 percent of respondents felt uncomfortable with the prospect of a gay mayor, and only 4 percent felt uncomfortable with a female mayor.
London is home to 40 percent of England's Muslim population, 2011 census figures show. In some boroughs such as Tower Hamlets and Newham, Muslims account for as much as one-third of the population. The city is considered to be one of the more diverse areas in England. Roughly 87.5 percent of England’s overall population is considered to be white, but in London that number drops to 69.7 percent, World Population Review says. The majority religion in London is Christian, followed by Muslim, Hindu and Jewish, in that order, and a significant portion of Londoners did not affiliate with any religion, 2001 census figures show.