GRIMSBY, England (Reuters) – Like many in the once thriving fishing town of Grimsby, Dave thinks an influx of east European migrants has made it harder to find work and he plans to register his anxiety by voting in an election for the first time in 18 years.
But the 36-year-old docker will not be voting for Britain’s main opposition Labour party, traditionally the dominant force in the area’s local politics. In the run-up to next month’s elections for the European Parliament, Dave says he intends to back Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP).
“They seem like the only ones who want to do something about immigration,” said Dave, who declined to give his surname, as he enjoyed a beer in a pub on Freeman Street, formerly a bustling shopping area and popular haunt of fishermen now dotted with boarded-up shops, pawnbrokers and at least two Polish grocers.
“When I first started there 17 years ago you could get a job on the docks when you wanted. We used to do 40 hours and after 40 hours it would be overtime. Now, foreigners will come in and do 60 hours at minimum wage. They have changed it.”
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