To make sure that you can vote on 7th May, 2015 in the next General Election, you can register on-line to vote now on www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
We British expats often feel neglected by our home country. We’re proud to be British, we have strong ties with back home… but we don’t feel our voice is being heard in government about the issues that affect us.
But there is a way: register to vote. You can now register on line, so nothing could be simpler. Do it now, and provided you’re outside the scope of the 15- year-rule, you’ll have a voice in the General Election on 7th May 2015. Young people can register from the age of 16, but to be able to vote you must be aged at least 18 on Election Day.
Here’s a successful on-line registration example from one of our campaign team who is not yet excluded by the 15-year-rule: Mole Valley District Council
Maintaining your voter registration up to date with www.gov.uk/register-to-vote means you’ll also be ready to vote in any referendum on continuing membership of the EU, if one is called, again as long as you’re not prevented from voting by the 15-year-rule.
To register, all you need is a computer or mobile device with an internet connection, your passport details (number, issuing authority, date of issue), your National Insurance (NI) number, your last postal address in the UK and your current address abroad. The whole process should take less than five minutes. If you haven’t got your NI number to hand, you can ask the site to find it and send it to you, or alternatively identify yourself by other means. All this is clearly explained on the www.gov.uk/register-to-vote website.
If you’ve lived outside the UK for more than 15 years, you won’t be able to complete your registration.
Thanks for that useful comment, Peter.
My registration attempt was also quickly rejected once I entered the date (September, 1978) I was last fully resident in the UK. The 15-year-limit was the reason given for my rejection.
It would be good to get some comments from more recent and/or younger British expatriates who have successfully managed to register on-line and are encouraging others like themselves to do the same.
Barry Sadler replied.
I have recently received a letter( dated 18th September 2014 ) from the Political Correspondence Manager at No 10 Downing St after I asked if the 15 year rule will ever change. The reply says AND I QUOTE “If our Party wins power next May we will remove the cap that prevents Britons from voting in the UK elections after they have been out of the country for 15 years and allow them to votE for life. ”
Welcome news I think for all us ex pats..
Welcome news indeed and an improvement on the standard response up until recently of “The Government will keep the 15-year time limit under consideration but it is not minded to change the law at present.”
Tried to register and was quickly rejected due to 15 year rule. No evidence for this, of course. However I tried to register the first year I became ineligible because I wanted a rejection letter – which I received from the very courteous registrar in Devizes. Might come in handy if we ever manage to launch a class action against the British government.