In spite of recent campaigns to encourage British expats to register to vote in next month’s EU referendum, new data suggests that expats may in fact make up fewer than 1 per cent of all Brexit votes.
According to the Electoral Commission, approximately 196,000 British expats have so far registered to vote in the referendum. While this may be a sizable increase on the 114,000 expats who applied to vote in last year’s general election, it is still far lower than what supporters of the remain campaign are hoping for.
Expats, particularly those living in the EU, have been targeted as a key demographic by the remain campaign, who have been keen to highlight that a vote to leave the EU could see Brits living in a member state lose their right of residence in their current home country.
It is estimated that around 5.5 million Brits live overseas, although of these only those who have lived in a UK constituency in the past 15 years are eligible to vote. By law, all British overseas voters must renew their registrations each year.
Expat voters have until 7th June to register online, although postal voters have been encouraged to have sent their applications in already.
Article by David Fuller