Indian sub-continent voters to play a decisive role in general election

Over 25 constituencies have 40 per cent voters from ethnic minorities

14th April 2010: Indian sub-continent voters will play a more decisive role in the 2010 general election than ever before.

A new research suggests nothing less than 25 parliamentary constituencies have more than 40 per cent of their voting population from ethnic minorities. In fact, the voters are from the Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities.

The parliamentary constituencies where over 40 per cent of the population was categorised as being from an ethnic minority in the 2001 census include East Harrow 66.3 per cent, Birmingham Ladywood 64.9 per cent, Birmingham Sparkbrook and Small Heath 64.8 per cent, and Brent South 64.6 per cent.

The research, by Prof. Muhammad Anwar of the University of Warwick, even suggests they are more likely to turn out to vote than their white neighbours.

Prof. Anwar has asserted that ethnic minorities voter registration is approaching levels of white voters; and their turnout is now higher than the national average.

In the previous general election held in 2005, the national average turnout was 61.4 per cent, but for Bangladeshi voters it was 76 per cent, Pakistanis 70 per cent and Indians 67 per cent.

The higher levels of turn-out among Asians and particularly Muslim groups are likely to continue in future.

The findings come just about for weeks before the general elections.
The research says the minorities are still ‘massively undervalued and under-represented’, even though the ethnic minority vote will be more important than ever before.

Prof. Anwar says in recent years Muslims in Britain and elsewhere have become a focus of attention for politicians and the media. As such, Muslims themselves have become more conscious of their rights and responsibilities as British citizens, including participation in the electoral process.

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