The Extent To Which Voting By Ethnic Minorities Reflects The Voting Behaviour Of The Whole Electorate

1009 words - 4 pages

The Extent to Which Voting by Ethnic Minorities Reflects the Voting Behaviour of the Whole Electorate

In present day there are currently 12 ethnic minority MP’s in
parliament, all of who belong to the Labour party. Ethnic minority
groups tend to be part of the immigrant population and so are more
likely to belong to the working class and so have a stronger party
identification with labour. This can be shown in the 1997 general
election in which 70% of Asian voters and 86% of Black voters voted
for labour. The difference in the two could be to do with the fact
that Asian people in particular have been very successful in Britain
with setting up businesses so in the 1997 elections the 25% of Asian
voters that voted for conservative didn’t feel the effect of Black
Wednesday as significantly as the rest of the electorate. In the
opinion poll of the above source after labours first term in
government 84% of black voters & 80% of Asian voters said that they
preferred the labour government. This could be to do with the fact
that one of the conservative policies in 2001 election was
immigration, which led to a stronger party identification between
ethnic minorities and the labour party.

However although ethnic minorities tend to have a strong partisan
alignment with labour they have a low voter turnout. However in the
2001 election Britain saw the lowest voter turnout since 1918 with
only 57% of the electorate turning out to vote. So you could argue
that by not turning out to vote they reflected the voting behaviour of
most of the electorate who felt that in the 2001 election labour was
‘bound to win’.

In the 2001 election most of the electorate felt apathetic, for
example they felt that their votes were wasted because of the first
past the post system, and how the policies between parties were
converging, so there was no longer partisan alignment. Although I have
already explained that the ethnic minorities tend to have a stronger
party identification with labour. In the 2001 census the ethnic
minorities groups actually only totalled to 8% of the population which
doesn’t reflect even a tenth of the electorate, so in which case you
could argue that voting by ethnic minorities doesn’t really make much
of a difference with that of the whole electorate and so doesn’t
reflect the voting behaviour.

At the moment Britain as a whole is facing a period of volatility in
comparison to the ethnic minorities period of stability, although they
are not participating within elections because of voter apathy, which

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