Birmingham resident Johur Uddin has always voted Labour. But with the U.K. opposition party on the cusp of a potentially record election victory next week, the 56-year-old consultant says he’ll break with the habit of a lifetime on July 4 and mark his ballot paper with an X next to an independent candidate.

A perception that Labour has drifted from its roots, coupled with party leader Keir Starmer’s support for Israel in its war with Hamas in Gaza, have driven Uddin away. The sentiment was shared by four of the five men with him at the Legacy West Midlands charity’s office in the Birmingham Ladywood constituency, who are eyeing independent candidates — with one also weighing the Green Party.

"The values of Labour have completely changed,” said Uddin. "Before it was more for the working people and there was a lot of social justice” — a focus that’s been lost, he said.