The UK general election will take place next May and expats could play a huge part in its outcome and the future of British politics. The Electoral Commission have launched an initiative to encourage expats to vote in the forthcoming election, recognising that they could make a huge difference in marginal constituencies and alter which party occupies these seats.
Expats who have been out of the UK for less than 15 years are being encouraged to register to vote because less than 100 votes could determine the outcome in some of these marginal constituencies. For example, the constituency of Thurrock is held by just a 92 vote majority and expat votes could realistically lead to the Tory party losing this seat.
Information on the 49 marginal constituencies has revealed that just under 30,000 extra votes would lead to all of the seats being occupied by different parties. But the real question is whether expats will hold much interest in the election, which will largely be dependent on the likelihood of them returning home with a degree of permanency. If expats have little or no intention of returning home, then it is unlikely that they will be concerned with voting in the UK general election.
If you are an expat and would like more information on voting, please visit About My Vote.