With the British general election expected in May, the Conservative Party is turning immigration into a key campaign issue. And it seems to be paying off. Conservative Party leader Michael Howard has pledged to introduce an annual ceiling on immigration, a quota for asylum seekers, and a points system to reform the country's "chaotic and out-of-control" work-permit system. Tony Blair's Labour Party has also proposed a points system but no quotas. A recent poll by research firm MORI showed that 40% of British voters name immigration and asylum as top issues -- ahead of health care and education. In the best showing for the Tories in 18 months, some 37% of people said they planned to vote Tory vs. 39% for Labour. While Blair's party is still favored, the Tories' stance on immigration could make the race tighter.
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