He failed to come up with an answer saying:
"I am afraid it is too difficult to say I would like someone else to win
other than me or I wouldn’t be here, and I am quite keen on winning."
But the results for the general elections on 7 May could be different.
Instead of the traditional two political parties – Conservatives and Labour –
at least four main parties are contesting.
Interestingly, the vote of the three-million Indian diaspora has become
In fact, the minority voters are a hefty six million.
No wonder all parties are trying to woo them.
The Indian diaspora form five per cent of the total population and their
votes can make a difference between winning and losing in some strong Asian
strong-holds in the country.
Traditionally, Labour has enjoyed the vehement support of the Asian community
– Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis - but this plummeted in the last election
because of failures this party’s marked failures.
Largely prosperous and upward mobile, Asian voters turned up in big numbers
to support the Conservatives led by David Cameron and the Liberal Democrats by
Nick Clegg in the last election, shaking Labour’s traditional stranglehold on
Though only 16 per cent ethnic minority voters balloted for the Conservatives
and 18 per cent for Lib-Dems, it still shook the Labour Party.
The pattern among Britain’s Indian voters shows a very clear and
consistent support for Labour much more than their white counterparts but in
the long run, the new generations of Asians will be losing their traditional
support for Labour.
The 2010 election showed that an overwhelming 74 per cent Muslims
supported Labour followed by 73 per cent Sikhs, 51 per cent Hindus and 39
per cent East African Asians whereas only 31 per cent whites supported this
This gives weight to the argument that a section of East African Asians –
Hindus and Sikhs – fed up with the failures of the Labour Party, voted for
the Conservatives and the Lib-Dems in the 2010 polls.
This year, however, the United Kingdom Independent Party (UKIP) has waded
into the fray.
This party is perceived to be anti-immigration has gained popularity with the
whites but is less endeared by the Asians and ethnic minorities.
This four-way fight is bound to split the vote between Labour, Conservatives,
the Lib-Dems and UKIP.
Both Labour and the Conservatives can draw comfort from the fact that Asians
will largely choose between them.
UKIP, the right-wing populist party led by Nigel Farage did well in the last
Local Government elections but Farage’s party spits toxic immigration venom on
the multi-ethnic society.
It relies heavily on disgruntled white voters fed up of the immigration
policies of the heavy-weights and constant bickering on the future of Britain’s
position in the EU.
A growing number of Indian origin MPs in the current British Parliament
include the longest serving Keith Vaz, Alok Sharma, Paul Uppal, Priti Patel,
Seema Malhotra, Shailesh Vara, Valerie Vaz and Virendra Sharma.
Recent opinion polls show that the Conservatives and Labour are neck to
neck and the election result could be a cliff-hanger.
There are 160 marginal seats in the UK where the Asian and other ethnic
minority vote could decide who is in power.
But dissatisfied with what they perceive as ‘economic failures’ and austerity
measures by David Cameron, the pendulum could swing back in favour of Labour.
The much-anticipated pro-Labour swing among Asian voters may consequently
spell winning marginal seats for Ed Miliband, the Labour leader.
A study by Operation Black Vote suggests that there will be 70 per cent
more seats then there were in 2010 where Asian and Black voters could decide
the outcome on 7 May.
The Conservatives, in the run-up to the 2015 elections deliberately
displayed visual enthusiasm for Diwali parties and other Asian celebrations
This is because many Asians see the Conservatives less favourable to them
and other ethnic minorities.
A London shopkeeper Sailesh Patel is in no doubt that his family will go
the way his parents did for many years – vote for Labour.
But Labour has racked up a storm by pledging that if it wins it will
tighten the noose on tax evaders.
It will also scrap non-domiciled status system under which those with
permanent homes abroad do not have to pay UK tax on their overseas earnings.
Only their UK earnings are taxed. Foreign billionaires who have settled here,
however, pay a token £30,000 a year to the government.
If Labour wins the election, it wants to scrap this rule and thus raise
hundreds of millions of Pounds for the Treasury.
Historically, the notion of non-domiciled status for tax purposes was
introduced by Lord William Pitt the Younger in 1799.
This has gone largely unquestioned ever since.
"We don’t compete in the world by offering tax advantages to a few that
we don’t give to all our citizens and businesses," Mr. Miliband said.
"It is not fair on all those millions of working people and businesses
who pay their share and play by the rules.
"And it’s not fair on all the people who rely on our public services
either," he added.
Currently, over 116,000 ‘non-doms’ – mostly Arab and Russians – live in the
UK who could face the same tax demands as the less wealthy Britons.
Although Conservatives dismiss Labour’s pronouncements as just another
silly prank; some observers say if they go ahead, non-dom foreign
billionaires living in Britain could be forced to pay tax both on their UK
and overseas incomes.
The list of non-dom Indians include Baron Bagri (Raj Bagri); Sudhir Choudhrie,
Lakshmi Mittal and Curry King Sir Gulam Noon gave up his non-dom status to
become assistant treasurer of the Labour Party and Lord (Swaraj) Paul gave up
his non-dom status in 2010 to retain seat in the House of Lords.