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#Politics & Current Affairs

UK General Election Brings Hope to First-Time Immigrant Voters

UK General Election Brings Hope to First-Time Immigrant Voters

Excitement Among First-Time Immigrant Voters in the UK General Election

As the UK prepares for its upcoming general election on July 4th, first-time immigrant voters like Prathesh Panjak are eagerly anticipating the opportunity to participate in shaping the future of their adopted country.

Prathesh, 27 years old, arrived in Britain from India in February last year on a student visa. Working part-time as a university ambassador in Manchester, he expressed his enthusiasm for casting his vote after missing out on elections in his native India. “In my country, people from other countries aren’t allowed to vote. Here, despite being on a student visa, we have the chance to influence decisions just like British citizens,” Prathesh shared.

Joining him in this sentiment is Teh Wen Sun, a 33-year-old Malaysian student residing near Manchester in Salford. While she finds little difference between the main political parties, Teh is determined to support a party that embraces immigrant issues.

The issue of immigration holds significant importance in UK politics, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party, which has held power for 14 years, facing a strong challenge from the opposition Labour Party. Sunak has campaigned on promises to reduce net migration levels, citing concerns from many British voters about its impact on public services like the NHS, housing, and education. His policies, including tighter visa regulations and proposals to relocate asylum seekers to Rwanda, have sparked intense debate among voters.

For Oyinkansola Dirisu, a 31-year-old support worker from Manchester who arrived in the UK in 2022, the Labour Party’s stance on immigration is decisive. She hopes that the next government will make it easier for individuals like her to settle in Britain.

Meanwhile, Esther Offem, 26, who arrived from Nigeria last September, remains undecided. “None of the parties have fully addressed the issues that matter most to me,” she remarked, expressing a leaning towards the Conservative Party for now but keeping her options open.

As the election draws closer, these first-time immigrant voters represent a diverse range of perspectives and aspirations, underscoring the significance of their participation in the democratic process. Their votes could potentially influence policies that shape the future of immigration and integration in the UK.

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