Power to the black vote

Move to ensure minorities register to vote.


Young, black voters will have their day to wield pre-election clout according to a debate in Birmingham held this week to discuss issues surrounding the power of the Black vote

One of the aims of the debate is to inspire the major political parties to realize that they can no longer take the Black vote for granted, according to the evening’s organiser Bill Brown, founder of Black Exposure Live.

He said: “Politicians must now greatly improve their appeal to Black voters if any of them are serious about winning the next election.”

Operation Black Vote, a cross-party group, carried out a study that showed that the number of seats where the Black voter could decide the outcome of the 2015 election had rocketed by 70% since the election in 2010.

The study suggests that in 168 marginal seats, the Black vote is bigger than the majority of the sitting MP. These seats extend beyond inner city areas to include places such as Southampton, Oxford, Sherwood, Ipswich and Northampton.

The enormity of the impact is clearly demonstrated in Birmingham, where the number of ethnic minority voters exceeds the sitting MP’s majority in six of its eight seats.

Britain’s young, Black voters are not taking those findings lightly, according to Mr Brown.

He said  with the momentum emanating from the Scottish Devolution Debate, young, Black voters from across the East and West Midlands were vociferous in  demanding a change in the way it has been reckoned with by the major political parties.

“The overwhelming feedback from these young people was that our organization, given what we stand for, should take the initiative and run with this very important topic,” he said. “We will be running a number of lively debates around this topic in a number of education establishments up to the general election.”

Simon Wooley, of OBV, said: “The Black vote has never been so powerful. This is great news for all those who thought we could never effect change. With the political leverage occasioned by our research findings, I am sure many will want to demand greater race equality. Above all, the research is a political game changer, and if ethnic minority communities and politicians respond positively to it, then democracy wins.”