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Half of UK Poles could vote in Euro elections

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 11.04.2014 12:21
An opinion poll has found that around half of the hundreds of thousands of Poles living in the United Kingdom intend to vote in the European Parliament elections this May.

photo - PR

The poll by Ipsos found that of the 49 percent of respondents who said they intend to take part in the ballot to elect MEPs to the European Parliament, 18 percent declared they would vote for the Liberal Democrats, currently the junior coalition partner in the British government and seen as the most ‘pro-European’ of Britain's political parties.

Sixteen percent said they would vote for the opposition Labour Party and just 12 percent for Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives.

Four percent said they would vote for the anti-EU UKIP party.

Around half told the pollster that they had yet to decide which party to vote for.

If half of Polish immigrants do turn out to vote in Britain on 22 May then this would be a major success for the ‘Glosuj – Vote!' campaign initiated by Professor Zbigniew Pełczyński, a former don at Oxford University, who is urging Polish migrants to take part in the elections.

“Turnout by Polish voters [in local and European elections in Britain] is low,” the campaign web site says.

“This is causing concern among local government leaders who see immigrants from ‘new’ Europe failing to integrate. Polish community leaders, meanwhile, are worried that the voice of Poles is not being heard by British politicians,” the web site says.

In a sign that Poles are integrating further into social life in Britain, 40 percent of respondents told the Ipsos pollster they were considering applying for a UK passport.

The poll was taken between 7 and 17 March from a sample of 552 Poles.

Meanwhile, Artur Debski, an MP for the liberal Your Movement party in Poland, is currently living in London for two weeks to experience what life is like for Polish migrants trying to find a job there.

Living in a “small room” paying 10 pounds a night to a Lithuanian woman who had offered him a place to stay, the MP was visiting Job Centres and trying to live on 100 pounds a week.

“It’s not easy,” Debski told the BBC.

The 2011 census found there were 579,000 Polish-born people living in the UK.

European elections take place throughout the 28-nation bloc between 22 ansd 25 May. (pg)

Source: PAP

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