Posted on July 5, 2024

UK Election Gives Hope to First-Time Immigrant Voters

Reuters, July 3, 2024

Voting for the first time in a British election, Prathesh Paulraj and other immigrant voters are excited to take part in the July 4 ballot, hoping they can influence change in the country that they have chosen to call home.

The opposition Labour Party is widely expected to win by a landslide, replacing Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party which has been in power for 14 years.

Refugees and immigrants from Commonwealth countries, mainly former territories of the British Empire such as Nigeria, India, and Malaysia, are eligible to vote in British elections.

Paulraj, 27, who came to Britain in February last year, said he was excited to cast his vote after missing the election in his native India.

“In my country, they don’t allow people from other countries to vote … I came here on a student visa, but they are giving us an opportunity, like British citizens,” said Panjak who works part-time as an ambassador at his university in Manchester, northwest England.