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In the 2005 General election, 15 MPs from a black and minority ethnic (BME) background were elected, marginally up from 13 in 2001. The first ethnic minority member of the Welsh Assembly was elected on the regional ballot representing Plaid Cymru in 2007, and for the Northern Ireland Assembly, the first Chinese politician was also elected in 2007. As the Electoral Reform Society points out, if the representation of BME groups in the House of Commons reflected the make up of the population (7.9 percent BME), there would be 51 BME MPs.148 When young people from BME groups are surveyed about why many of them feel disengaged from the political process, many cite the fact that they cannot relate to their representatives, so few of whom seem to speak directly for them.

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