Thursday’s general election will decide the fate of several candidates who have Polish roots.
Several candidates with Polish roots are standing in the British general election on Thursday. Four of them are sitting MPs.
The most prominent of them is Conservative Daniel Kawczyński, MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham. The declared gay and supporter of Brexit is also the most likely of the incumbents to be succesful, as his seat is a very safe Conservative district.
The remaining three incumbents are all Labour and face a far more uphill battle. Alex Sobel in Leeds North-West is facing a challenge from the Liberal Democrats, who held the seat at past elections.
Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting is facing a challenge from the Conservatives. She comes from a mixed race marriage between a Polish pop singer and a Pakistani.
The toughest fight faces Paula Sheriff, the Labour MP for Finchley and Golders Green in North London. Ms Sheriff has a Polish mother. She faces a challenge from both the Conservatives and a prominent Liberal Democrat defector from the Labour Party, Luciana Berger. The seat is one with a large Jewish population and the Labour Party has of late been in serious trouble over accusations of tolerating anti-semitism.
One of the most interesting candidates, a second generation Pole Jason Zadrożny is an independent standing in Ashfield. Independents normally do not stand a chance but he is the leader of Ashfield District Council and supporter of Brexit, in a marginal seat that voted heavily for Brexit in the 2016 referendum in which the Labour MP is standing down and the Conservative Lee Anderson’s campaign has been mired in controversy.
Chris Ostrowski is fighting the marginal Watford seat for Labour against the Conservatives. He comes from the moderate wing of the party rather than from Momentum that supports the leader Jeremy Corbyn.
There are very few representatives of the Polish migration wave from the noughties among the candidates. One such candidate is Michał Chantkowski fighting for Washington and Sunderland West for the Green Party. Since it is a safe Labour seat and declares before midnight Mr Chantkowski is not going to have a long and stressful night on Thursday.
Most Poles living in the UK do not have the right to vote in the British general election as they are not British citizens. Resident non-citizens are allowed to vote in local and European elections only.
Since the Brexit referendum an additional 25,000 Poles have registered to vote in Britain having gained citizenship rights. But this is a modest figure when compared with the first and second generation ethnic vote from Asian and Caribbean communities.