If you’re a British citizen and you’ve been away here less than 15 years, you are eligible to vote! By post, via proxy or pop home and do it in person. But you must register (or reregister) NOW to ensure that you get the paperwork in time for the 20th April deadline. The election itself is 7th May but postal votes need sending off early.
1. Are you eligible to vote in the British General Election if you live abroad?
You can register as an overseas voter for up to 15 years after leaving the UK, as long as:
- you’re still a British citizen
- you were registered to vote in the UK within the previous 15 years (or, in some cases, if you were too young to have registered when you left the UK)
2. Eligible? Then just fill in this online form to register!
It takes FIVE minutes!
Make sure that you:
* have your National Insurance Number and Passport to hand
* have decided whether to vote by proxy or post
* have an email or postal address for them to send you the voting form
The multiple-choice questions will include asking how and where were you last registered to vote, although you can answer “Can’t remember” as an option.
Then your application will be sent to the relevant Electoral Registration Office and then confirm whether they are adding you to the Electoral Roll or if they need more information.
Remember, if you are voting by post, make a note in your diary to get your vote in the post before the 20th April 2015.
Why is it important you vote? Take a look at these stats from 2010. Your. Vote. Counts.
4. Undecided on who to vote for? This might help…
I will be posting and tweeting the manifestos of each party as they get published in the coming weeks, in the meantime this BBC article is incredibly enlightening >>
And here are some things that we do know:
– Manifesto tbc but a lot on their website:
– brought in those harsh new spousal migration rules we all hate so much.
– have pledged to restore voting rights to all Expats by getting rid of the “15 year rule” which stops Expats from voting once they’ve been away for 15 years. Read more here >>
– Manifesto tbc but have published some key thoughts:
– notable that both Keith Vaz and Kate Green have been on the case highlighting the ridiculous realities of the Spouse Migration rules. Read more here >>
– Manifesto tbc but here are the main points:
– Obviously some very important things to note if you are an Expat, especially the promise (threat?!) to introduce an Australian style points policy as well as reintroducing the Primary Purpose Rule which was ditched in 1997 by Labour and was from what I have heard made the spousal rules seem like a picnic. Read more here >>
– Manifesto tbc: http://www.libdems.org.uk/issues
– Manifesto tbc: http://greenparty.org.uk/values/