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Who can vote

group of people, all ages etc

You can register to vote if:

Also included:

  • Lodgers or people staying at the address who have no other home.
  • Anyone who normally lives at the address but is away temporarily. This includes people in hospital, students, anyone on holiday or working away for less than six months.

You are eligible to vote in all elections in the UK if:

  • you are a British Citizen 
  • a Commonwealth citizen
  • a citizen of the Irish Republic

You are eligible to vote in local and European Parliamentary elections in the UK if you are a European Union citizen. But you are not eligible to vote in UK parliamentary elections.

More information available on The UK Office of the European Parliament website.

Anyone who is not a British, Commonwealth, Irish or EU citizen is not entitled to vote in any election in this country. Having leave to stay does not give anyone the right to vote, unless they qualify on grounds of nationality.

Student voters

Students are entitled to register at both their home address and their university address.
It is an offence to vote more than once in a national election, but you can vote in both areas of local elections.

Armed forces personnel

Service personnel and their wives, husbands and civil partners have the option of making a service declaration, which means that they will remain registered for three years. After that period, it must be renewed. The Electoral Services Office will send a reminder for this purpose.

If you need to register as an HM Armed Forces elector, contact Electoral services 

British citizens living abroad

If you are a British citizen, you can register as an overseas elector for a period of fifteen years after the last year in which your name appeared in the electoral register as living in the UK. 

You will then be entitled to vote at UK Parliamentary and European Parliamentary elections, but NOT local government elections, i.e. to the London Borough of Hillingdon, for the Mayor of London or to the Greater London Assembly.

Once an application has been approved, it must be renewed every year. The Electoral Services Office will send overseas electors a reminder for this purpose.

If you need to register as an overseas elector, contact Electoral services

If you are working away from home for less than six months then you should register at your permanent address.

More information »

Commonwealth Countries, British Dependent Territories and Crown Dependencies

Anguilla

Falkland Islands

Mozambique

Singapore

Antigua & Barbuda

Fiji Islands

Namibia

Solomon Islands

Australia

The Gambia

Nauru

South Africa

The Bahamas

Ghana

New Zealand

South Georgia & the South

Bangladesh

Gibraltar

Nigeria

Sandwich Islands

Barbados

Grenada

Pakistan

Sri Lanka

Belize

Guyana

Papua New Guinea

Swaziland

Bermuda

Hong Kong

Pitcairn Island

United Republic of Tanzania

Botswana

India

Rwanda

Sovereign base areas of

British Antarctic Territory

Isle of Man

St. Helena

Cyprus

British Indian Ocean

Jamaica

St. Helena Dependencies

Tonga

Territory

Kenya

(Ascension Island, Tristan

Trinidad & Tobago

British Virgin Islands

Kiribati

da Cunha)

Turks & Caicos Islands

Brunei Darussalam

Lesotho

St. Kitts & Nevis

Tuvalu

Cameroon

Malawi

St. Lucia

Uganda

Canada

Malaysia

St. Vincent & The

United Kingdom

Cayman Islands

Maldives

Grenadines

Vanuatu

Channel Islands

Malta

Samoa

Zambia

Cyprus

Mauritius

Seychelles

Zimbabwe

DominicaMontserratSierra Leone 

European Union countries

Austria

Estonia

Italy

Portugal

Belgium

Finland

Latvia

Romania

Bulgaria

France

Lithuania

Slovakia

Croatia

Germany

Luxembourg

Slovenia

** Cyprus

Greece

** Malta

Spain

The Czech Republic

Hungary

The Netherlands

Sweden

Denmark

Republic of Ireland

Poland

United Kingdom

Cyprus** and Malta are members of both the Commonwealth and the European Union.  Nationals of these countries are therefore entitled to vote at all elections in the UK by virtue of their membership of the Commonwealth.

**This includes the northern section of Cyprus as it is not recognised internationally as a separate state. Canvassers should therefore ascertain whether the residents are Greek nationals (and therefore European Union citizens), Cypriot nationals (and therefore Commonwealth citizens [whether Greek Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot]) or Turkish nationals (and therefore ineligible to register to vote in the UK).

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 08 Aug 2017 at 15:44