Brexit has complicated the lives of many expats in Mallorca, especially businesses. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


Scrapping the 15-year voting rule for British expats by the Conservative Party may backfire on the Tories, according to the latest surveys. This week Lord Cameron posted a video on socia media calling on expats to use their right to vote and it looks like they will, but to the benefit of Labour and the Lib Dems.

The Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, who came on holiday to Puerto Pollensa with his family in 2012 released a video calling for the British expat vote. Over three million British citizens living abroad have regained their right to vote in British General Elections and referendums following the implementation of the Elections Act 2022. This represents the biggest increase in the British electoral franchise since the introduction of full female suffrage in 1928.

But, it appears many UK citizens living in Spain and across Europe are set to vote against the Conservatives as they are 'still living in the consequences of Brexit', one academic said. Dr Susan Collard, from the University of Sussex, told The Times there was no evidence to suggest that voting intention among Britain's expat community had changed since she carried out a 2020 study into the potential impact of the rule changes. The combined vote share for Labour and the Liberal Democrats rose from 56 per cent in 2015 to 85 per cent in 2019, it also showed.

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Dr Collard said evidence suggested the voting intention of British expats living outside the EU was not 'dissimilar' to those living in Europe. She told the newspaper: 'Given the unpopularity of the Conservative Party in this country, I can't see anything that they've done that would change the negative outlook for them based on the results of the data that we had.'

Dr Pollard added that the main driver of the vote had been Brexit, adding: 'They're not forgetting. Many are still living in the consequences of Brexit so all I could say is there isn't any evidence that the mood has changed among those voters.'

She also dismissed a view that British exparts are more likely to vote Tory as 'a stereotype that belongs to the 1980s'. 'The whole question of mobility in the EU has meant that going to live abroad is no longer posh people going to live in villas on the Mediterranean — it's a hugely diverse population, they have hugely diverse views,' she continued. The study found the Tories' share of overseas votes fell by two-thirds between general elections in 2015 and 2019.