According to Lorraine Hardy, the Costa Blanca-based Labour International secretary, in urging those UK expats who are still eligible to vote in the 2015 general election to make sure they register soon on www.gov.uk/register-to-vote ,
“there is cross-party support from expats who feel that the right to vote is a basic civil right, not a privilege to be taken away by the UK government [via the 15-year-rule]. Losing the right to vote in the UK leaves expatriate Brits with no public representation in their own language and from their home country. They do not acquire the right to vote in the country of residence unless they renounce their British nationality and become a national of their country of residence.”
However, reciprocal support from all the major political parties in the UK in terms of official policy for removing this 15-year-limit on the overseas voting rights of British expatriates is still awaited.
Also, despite the strong possibility and associated future uncertainty for resident British expatriates of an In/Out Refererendum on the UK’s continuing membership of the European Union, a survey by the Local has found that for various reasons many will not be casting their vote this year.
Yet there are still many concerned British citizens living abroad who could be encouraged to vote and, with this in mind, the UK Electoral Commission has launched a recruitment drive to get some 100,000 Brits to join the voting register by April 20th, the registration deadline.