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Hindus, Sikhs are highest voters in Britain

india Updated: Apr 22, 2008 18:58 IST

Hindu and Sikh communities in Britain have the highest voting percentage in general elections, a new research says.

Titled 'Electoral participation of Hindu and Sikh communities in England and Wales', the research refutes claims that minority ethnic voters are less likely to vote in general elections than other voters.

The research revealed that 61.3 per cent of Hindus voted in the 2001 general elections, while the figure for the Sikh community was 59.7 per cent and 58.5 per cent for the Muslim community.

The report said: "Our research provides evidence that registered British South Asian electors are actually more likely to turn out to vote than the rest of the population and that registered Hindu and Sikh electors are the most likely to vote of all the religious groups common in the South Asian electorate."

The research, conducted for the Hindu Council UK (HCUK) and funded by the social research organisation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, was carried out by Edward Fieldhouse and David Cutts of the University of Manchester.

"These results suggest that, whilst those of Indian heritage have been the most educationally and economically successful over recent years and remain the people most likely to vote in general elections, the role of the extended family and strong community networks may still play a vital role in mobilising Hindu and Sikh voters," it said.

The report said that Hindu women were more likely to turn out to vote than men.

Commenting on the findings, Anant Vyas of HCUK said: "This raises a serious question - do the Government need to spend hundreds of millions funding favoured faith communities for fighting terrorism while ignoring the support needs of the integrative communities thus creating further imbalance and tensions weakening the positive resolve inherent in society?"

"Hindus must be given the long overdue credit and recognition for being peace loving," he added.