Surge in ex-pats applying to register to vote

EU VOTE: British Ambassador Simon Manley encourages British ex-pats to register to vote.

THE announcement of the date for the Referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union has triggered a surge in the numbers of British ex-pats wanting to register to vote.

Latest figures show thousands of British nationals who live overseas are now going to in order to be able to have their say on June 23. The average daily rate of online registrations by Britons abroad has quadrupled from an average of just over 600 per day before the announcement of the referendum date, to more than 2,600 per day since then.

It comes just weeks after The Euro Weekly News reported that British Ambassador, Simon Manley, was on the Costa Blanca to support the campaign and help raise awareness amongst the British population in Spain to register their right to vote in the referendum.


The British Ambassador Simon Manley, said: “Whether you think the UK should remain in or leave the EU, June 23 will be your chance to have your say. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the British people to decide.” He continued: “You might be asking yourself, why bother to vote? Although you may now live in Spain, most ex-pats still have strong ties with the UK; financial, family, friends. You may also decide to return one day. So you very probably do have a stake in the outcome and how it may affect your life. I strongly encourage you to register to vote just go online and follow the simple process.”

If you have been on the UK electoral roll within the last 15 years, you are eligible to vote. Former residents of England, Scotland and Wales can quickly register at  If you last lived in Northern Ireland then you need to download an overseas voter application form from the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland, at 

You can choose how you want to vote by post, proxy, or even in person if you will be in Britain on polling day. If you choose to vote by post, ballot forms will be despatched about one month ahead, giving you time to receive, complete and return your vote. 



  1. I have just downloaded the postal vote application and rather worryingly it says that “your ballot paper may not be sent out until FOUR working days before the poll”. This would clearly make postal voting a waste of time.
    Does anyone know differently ?

  2. David, I have voted in the general election in the past and received my ballot paper about 15 days before the election as it comes by post.

    For this referendum, the papers are supposedly being dispatched a month before the referendum and I have already received an e-mail confirmation that my registration has been noted and accepted.

    With the problems with post however, I’m going to spend a little extra and have my paper sent back via special delivery as I want my vote to count.

  3. Another option that is available is the proxy vote. My wife and I use it all the time. You just ask someone you trust to cast your vote at the same time as their own. It is entirely legitimate and legal and it ensures that your vote will not be lost in the post. The person you nominate gets two ballot papers, yours and theirs, and puts both of them in the ballot box on polling day.

    Obviously it helps if you both have the same political views.


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