Thursday, 28 November 2013

BAME people could decide the 2015 General Election

"Go home" vans have sparked controversy amongst BAME voters

With only 17 Months to go until the General Election in 2015, a significant problem for the Conservative Party's attempts to win a majority in 2015 is that they simply cannot connect with ethnic minority voters. On face value, this may not seem like such a big problem, considering that they make up only 3-4% of the UK Population. However, the ethnic minority population is expected to double by 2030, and in many of the Conservative's target seats, especially in places such as Birmingham where they would have to make inroads, there are a significant number of ethnic minority voters. This is not just a problem for Conservatives in Britain though. Look at how the result of the 2012 US presidential election would have been if only whites had voted:

 As you can see (The Republican party are red in the US and the Democrats are blue) the Republicans would have won a landslide if only white voters had voted as was customary before the US civil rights movement. In the UK, only 16% of ethnic minority voters voted for the Conservatives in 2010, whilst 68% voted for Labour. The attacks on illegal immigrants does not seem to be going down well with minorities either, as it makes the Tories look like the nasty party who dislike non-white voters. Indeed, Simon Woolley, Director of Operation Black Vote, says minorities feel that there is a "perception of demonisation of people of colour and that could have a negative effect at the ballot box". Especially for the Conservatives: their race deficit is expected to cost them 20-40 seats in 2015. It is why some senior Tories such as Boris Johnson favour the Lib Dem policy of having an amnesty for illegal immigrants.

But, at the moment, it seems unlikely that Cameron will be swayed by his party's poor showing amongst BAME voters, and this is likely to cost them in marginal seats at the General Election. Only time will tell if the Conservatives can reverse the "Whites only" image they have built up and try to diversify.

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