Black voters could be crucial in more than 70 constituencies

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Indy Politics

Britain's black voters could decide the outcome in 70 of the most marginal constituencies at the coming general election, new research has found.

Britain's black voters could decide the outcome in 70 of the most marginal constituencies at the coming general election, new research has found.

An analysis of census and voting figures shows that, in constituencies throughout London and other urban seats, the black electorate could decide the final outcome.

The UK's 4.4 million black voters are being urged to use their power, especially in urban constituencies, to force the main political parties to introduce an equality agenda for Britain.

In Cheadle, for example, where the Liberal Democrats are defending a majority of 33 over the Tories, there are 3,444 black voters who could decide the outcome. In Brent East, where the Liberal Democrats won a by-election by 1,118 votes, there are 31,213 ethnic minority voters. And in Milton Keynes North, where Labour has a 1,829 majority over the Tories, there are 5,041 black voters.

Yesterday, a coalition of ethnic minority and anti-racist organisations launched a radical manifesto to which they urged major parties to sign up.

The demands for "equality in our lifetime" included banning the British National Party and introducing all-black shortlists. The ethnic minority manifesto warned parties they will be punished in polling booths if they fail to take equality seriously.

"The black vote could be crucial. The research shows that in over 70 constituency seats the black vote can decide who wins and who loses, and in a further 50 seats the black vote can convincingly impact on the outcome," said Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote. "Never before in British politics has the black vote been so strong. Although we are a minority vote in a tightly run race, we hold the balance of power."

The analysis of census data and electoral outcomes from the last election found that "faith groups can also have a critical impact on many constituencies".

The report found that black people feel excluded from politics because there are so few ethnic minority MPs. There are only 13 black MPs out of 659 - only two of whom are women.

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