Your right to vote
We don’t yet know when the next General Election will be but the deadline is 28 January 2025. When the election is announced the Labour Party will move into campaign mode. But before that, and of particular interest to British citizens living abroad, we all need to know about our voting rights and how to make sure we do not lose our vote.
There are various aspects to consider:
- Automatic voting rights
- Votes for life
- Voting by proxy
We plan to give more detailed information in each of these areas. Check out the links below and feel free to contact us with your comments (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Automatic voting rights
According to the UK government web site, “You can register as an overseas voter if you:
- are a British or eligible Irish citizen
- were registered to vote in the UK within the last 15 years (or in some cases, if you were too young to have registered when you left the UK)”
The web site gives full details on how to exercise your vote.
Votes for life
The 15-year limit on the right to vote in a UK general election if you are an adult living abroad is due to be modified. The Conservative government wants to make it possible for all UK adult citizens who have been resident in the UK at some time to have the right to vote in UK general elections indefinitely. The enabling legislation has not yet been passed but it is in the pipeline. Read about this in the House of Commons Library research briefing on Overseas voters. The legislation is expected to be passed in 2024. Watch this space…
Voting by proxy or by post
If you have the right to vote, but cannot get to a polling station on the day, previous regulations allowed you to cast your vote by post or by proxy. We will publish further details on these aspects nearer the time.