May be it was Tony Blair’s unfound fear that all expats are Tories and therefore slashed the right to vote to just 15 years or perhaps, expats don’t care any more, after all, they have made a very serious decision to move abroad.
Granted, some are posted abroad for professional reasons, but look at the figures released yesterday.
Out of 5.5 million UK nationals living overseas there are fewer than 20,000 currently on the electoral registers and they will not all be young professionals thinking hard about the Britain they want to return to once their posting is over.
I guess, expats living in Europe may have more of an interest in British politics. The success or failure of the EU, of which Britain is a part of, or at least for the time being, does affect our lives, but those more far afield living in Australia, for example, do they care? I don’t think so.
Plenty of reasons why expats entitled to vote in the UK have been thrown forward but they are clearly not convincing enough.
What do expats get in return? Unlike the French, they neither form part of an overseas constituency nor do they get an MP to look after our rights overseas.
Perhaps if the 15 rule was scrapped, thousands more expats would register to vote knowing that they seriously have a voice, but as things stand, few seem to see the point. Only a handful can be bothered to register in local and European elections here.
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