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General Election 2019: Muslim voters could have impact on Canterbury outcome

Could Muslim voters in Canterbury change the outcome of the General Election?

According to the Muslim Council of Britain it could happen, after research published today highlighted marginal seats where votes from the Islamic community could tilt the balance of power.

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The report concluded there are on average 1,000 Muslims eligible to vote in the constituency, with Canterbury MP Rosie Duffield's majority in 2017 sitting at just 187.

This makes up around 1% of voting-age constituents in the city, enough to potentially tip the scales in favour of either Labour or the Conservatives.

Ramazan Altun, acting chairman of the Canterbury Mosque, said he is encouraging more people than ever to exercise their democratic right to vote.

He said: "In Canterbury's last election we just realised how important we could be as a community.

Ramazan Altun is the acting chairman at Canterbury Mosque
Ramazan Altun is the acting chairman at Canterbury Mosque

"We've made our community more aware, pushed them a little bit more and made them aware of how important it is to vote.

"We’ve been trying to encourage our youth, our sisters and our community, to be aware that one vote means a lot, especially in Canterbury."

Mr Altun said there has been a feeling of support towards MP Rosie Duffield, who has attended some community events at Canterbury Mosque since becoming MP in 2017.

He said: "She’s been so good, so active. That’s what community is about.

"We are a growing community in the area, and as part of the community it’s nice your representatives who represent you in Parliament are making your voice heard."

Mr Altun claimed previous Conservative MP Julian Brazier failed to attend a single Muslim event, despite being invited on multiple occasions.

Mr Brazier had been MP for Canterbury since 1987 before his shock loss to Labour in 2017.

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