Demands by Conservative MPs for curbs on voting rights enjoyed by 1.5 million foreign-born residents in this year’s British general election do not cover the 350,000 Irish-born people living in Britain, a senior Conservative backbencher has said. Earlier this week Graham Brady, chairman of the influential 1922 Committee of Conservative backbenchers, said voters from countries that do not offer reciprocal voting rights to British people should not be able to vote in British elections. Ireland does offer reciprocal voting rights to British citizens living in the Republic to vote in Dáil elections. This privilege is not offered to citizens from other EU states, who are restricted to voting in local and European Parliament elections.
Figures from the House of Commons show that 345,000 Irish-born voters are eligible to cast a ballot in May, along with 306,000 Indians, 180,000 Pakistanis, 73,000 Australians and 52,000 people from Zimbabwe.
Eligible voters born in Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Canada and Bangladesh could also prove to be significant in some constituencies, particularly inner-city ones that traditionally are home to newly arrived immigrants.
The growing influence of foreign-born voters is illustrated by figures from British Election Study, which show that nearly two-thirds of Indian and Pakistani-born voters supported Labour in 2010.
Full Article: Call in UK for curb on foreigners’ voting rights.