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Passion Islam I November 2008 LOCAL & NATIONAL NEWS I 5
British Obama
‘closer than
you think’
The largest ever number of black and Analysts are convinced this election chance of winning.
Asian MPs will be returned to parliament will mark the point when the ‘ethnic The Conservatives are doing well from
at the next election, new research penalty’ no longer applies in parliament. a low base level, with nine per cent of
indicates. With ethnic minorities making up candidates being from ethnic minorities.
The data, compiled by centre-left 7.5 per cent of the general population, Unfortunately, the party has a selection
thinktank the Fabian Society, led some analysts consider anything less than that rate of just four per cent. The Liberal
observers to predict a British Barack percentage of nominations by non-whites democrats select 5.6 per cent, but mostly
Obama is closer than people think. to be continued evidence of the ‘ethnic for unwinnable seats, leading some
“The chances for a British Obama penalty’. analysts to fear the party will be all-white
are now much more hopeful than they “This shows the British parliament is in parliament after the election.
would have been even ten years ago,” reaching a history moment as successful Sadiq Khan, Labour MP for Tooting,
said Fabian general secretary Sunder black and Asian candidates defeat the said: “Barack Obama’s election destroys
Katwala. historic ethnic penalty,” Mr Katwala said. once and for all the myth that voters of
“There’s a good chance of ten or more Labour are selecting ethnic minority all races won’t vote for ethnic minority
non-white MPs being returned in the candidates for ten per cent of all new candidates. “Even until the day before,
next election. That would mean as much candidates. Significantly, this rises to the media speculated that his race would
progress in one election as has been 15 per cent in seats they already hold cost him the election. But voters can see
made in the previous four
297x210_COMBINED_PASION 14/05/2008 18
– where candidates have the highest through skin colour.”
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