Vying for Asian Voters

For both Labour and the Conservatives achieving an outright majority in the Westminster Parliament will require winning over many voters who have not previously supported their causes. In particular, both parties need to do more to win over voters among Britain's ethnic communities and especially voters with an Asian heritage.

Labour, shocked by its recent defeat in the Bradford West by-election, needs to reconnect with these voters it has too often taken for granted. The Conservatives, meanwhile, struggle to win greater support among aspirational Asian voters without whom it is unlikely to be able to govern on its own. And for the Liberal Democrats - who have no MPs from Britain's ethnic communities - maintaining a sizeable presence in the House of Commons will require stronger backing from Asian voters than they have won at previous elections.

With all the parties needing to connect, Mary Ann Sieghart visits Blackburn in Lancashire - a constituency similar to Bradford West and just forty miles away - to ask how our politicians are going to appeal better to voters from the United Kingdom's Asian communities. Can they exploit at a national level the successful campaigns individual MPs have run locally with their diverse electorates? What are the issues which matter And what changes will we be seeing in how the parties present themselves to voters as the battle to win votes hots up?

In discussion with Seema Malhotra, the Labour MP for Feltham & Heston; Paul Uppal, the Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South-West and Issan Ghazni, chairman of the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, she asks how well-placed the main UK parties are to address the issues Asian voters have at the forefront of their minds.

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28 minutes

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Sat 14 Apr 2012 11:00