Many British citizens living in France are eligible to vote in the next UK general election on 8 June 2017 – find out if you are eligible and how to register to vote
The unexpected announcement of a UK general election on 8 June 2017, 3 years earlier than expected, means that the promised ‘votes for life’ bill will not be enacted in time for the election. This means that millions of British citizens who have lived outside of the UK for more than 15 years will not be able to vote.
For those of you who are eligible, you have until 22 May 2017 to register, although, if you are voting by post, it is advised you register before this deadline to ensure there is enough time for postal votes to be sent to you and for you to send them back.
Am I eligible?
A British citizen living abroad can register to vote in UK general elections if:
• You were registered to vote before leaving the UK
• You have lived in France for less than 15 years
How do I register?
• You can register online via www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
• You will need your National Insurance number and your passport (if you don’t have a National Insurance number you can still register but you will have to supply more information to prove who you are)
• You can also register by post, you will need to download the appropriate forms, fill them in and post them back
• You have to sign an annual declaration once you are registered to renew your registration every year. So if you were registered to vote for the 2015 General Election you will have to renew your registration with your local Electoral Registration Officer in the UK or register again
• If you took part in the EU referendum then you may still be registered. Contact your UK local authority to check. You can find the contact details of your local authority by entering the postcode of your last UK address on the Electoral Commission’s website.
How do I vote?
• Vote by post – once you have registered you will need to apply for a postal vote. Make sure you send back you vote in time for it to arrive by 10pm on the 8 June otherwise it won’t count.
• Vote by proxy – this means you can appoint someone to vote on your behalf at the polling station. Again, once you have registered to vote you will need to apply to vote by proxy.
More in Brexit