MUST VOTE ON MAY 1ST
(17 April 2003)
Singh, Electoral Commissioner today urged the UK's Asian Communities
to vote in the Local Elections to be held on May 1st 2003. 'We are
working to encourage more people from black and ethnic communities
to vote on 1 May. But, it is clear from our research that politicians
also need to do more to address the issues affecting black and Asian
people in Britain if turnout is to improve," he said.
and ethnic communities are least likely to vote in the forthcoming
May local elections, despite sharing the same concerns about healthcare,
education, crime and housing as the rest of the population. According
to a survey for The Electoral Commission, nearly one in three black
people say they didn't vote in the last general election compared
to one in ten Asians and only one in five white Britons. 14% of
the black and ethnic community weren't even registered to vote,
compared to 5% of white people.
for not voting stem mainly from feeling alienated from the political
process. Over one in five adults in ethnic communities believe their
vote would not make a difference, whilst around a third of black
people say none of the parties stand for policies that benefit them.
Worryingly, 15% of the black community claim that nothing could
make them vote.
renewed call to vote follows unexpected victories by The British
National Party when it won three seats in Burnley last year and
also picked up seats in Blackburn and Calderdale in by-elections
earlier this year. The BNP has announced that it is to field 221
candidates in these local elections, many in areas with a high Asian
population. Critics fear that this could lead to divided communities
and civil unrest.
THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION
Electoral Commission is an independent body established by Parliament.
It aims to ensure public confidence and participation in the democratic
process within the United Kingdom through modernisation of the electoral
process, promotion of public awareness of electoral matters and
regulation of political parties.
IN LEARNING MORE?
here to read 'BNP Victory
due to frenzy over asylum'.
here to read 'BNP
win fifth Council Seat'.
here to read 'British
Asian Racists - an Unholy Alliance'.
here to visit the Electoral