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CAGE-AMES Lunchtime Workshop - Apurav Yash Bhatiya (PGR)

Location: via Microsoft Teams

Title: Political Representation of Immigrants in the UK

Abstract: I analyse how changes in the share of the commonwealth (CW) and non-commonwealth (NCW) immigrants in a constituency affect how members of parliament address them in the UK parliament. Since the birth of the modern Commonwealth of Nations in 1949, the immigrants from CW countries in the UK have a right-to-vote in the national elections while all other immigrants do not have this enfranchisement power. I find an increase in the share of CW immigrants to a constituency leads to MPs addressing immigrants in the parliament in positive sentiment. In contrast, an increase in the share of NCW immigrants leads to a decrease in the parliament days in which MPs discuss them. The political power of immigrants, election period, and party ideology does not explain these findings. I find an empowerment effect due to the enfranchisement best explains these differences. Using the European social survey, I find first-generation CW immigrants without UK nationality are 30% more likely to have taken a socio-political action (signing petition, boycotting products, etc.) as compared to a similar sample of NCW immigrants.

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