The Unity Party and the myth of the ethnic vote
journal contributionposted on 04.05.2017 by Healy, Ernest
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Some analysts have argued that if a major political party adopts a restrictive immigration policy it will lose votes among immigrants. In the November 2001 federal election the Coalition emphasised its border control policy which, since late August, has prevented boats carrying unvisaed asylum-seekers from entering the Australian migration zone. The Unity Party, a pro-immigration, pro-multiculturalism party, opposed this policy (as did the Greens and the Democrats). Did the Government's policy alienate migrant voters and did the Unity Party attract them? Western Sydney offers a test case. Many electorates in Western Sydney have high immigrant populations, especially Fowler. In every case, the Liberal Party vote rose. In the electorates where the Unity Party stood candidates in 2001, its vote fell. This was true even of booths within Fowler which have very high concentrations of recent immigrants. Copyright. Monash University and the author/s