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MP hopefuls kick-off the race for Bethnal Green and Bow

PUBLISHED: 16:00 10 April 2010 | UPDATED: 15:50 05 October 2010

Election race for the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency has kicked-off

Election race for the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency has kicked-off

AS the race for the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency kicks-off this week, there is one certainty following the election on May 6 – the country will be see the historic moment of a first Bangladeshi MP taking a seat in parliament. Five Bangladeshi cand

AS the race for the Bethnal Green and Bow constituency kicks-off this week, there is one certainty following the election on May 6 - the country will be see the historic moment of a first Bangladeshi MP taking a seat in parliament.

Five Bangladeshi candidates and one Pakistani Independent are fighting for the Bethnal Green and Bow hot seat.

Labour's Rushanara Ali, the Tories' Zakir Khan, Lib Dem Ajmal Masroor, Green's Farid Bakht, Respect's Abjol Miah and Independent Hasib Hikmat will all be hoping to win residents' votes on May 6.

Poplar and Limehouse may have the clash of personalities but political followers will still be turning out in Bethnal Green and Bow to see who replaces Respect's George Galloway as he switches constituencies.

With a population of around 101,000, Bethnal Green and Bow is centred on the northern part Tower Hamlets, taking in much of Bethnal Green, Bow and Stepney.

It is undoubtedly one of London's poorest constituencies with a large Bangladeshi community and a traditional Labour following.

The 2005 elections saw a 51 per cent turnout and the anti-war feeling among the area's Muslim community helped George Galloway beat Labour's Oona King by an 823 majority.

Mr Miah will be fighting for the Respect seat but Labour is confident that its party is back in the race for May 6.

And the Conservatives are also fighting for the title with the 1997 general election, seeing a swing of five per cent to the Tories at a time when the national trend was a landslide swing against them.

All the candidates wasted no time in launching their election campaigns this week as Gordon Brown named the date on Tuesday.

Labour's Ms Ali rushed straight down to Westminster on Tuesday morning where she called for voters to "turn the page on the divisive politics of the Galloway years."

And Mr Masroor hosted a "mutual exchange of views" in a Brick Lane restaurant on Monday night.

The gloves are off.

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