The Electoral Commission has launched a drive to try and persuade those currently living overseas to register – and they are calling on a potential of 5.5 million potential voters.
“As relocation specialists, we at HCR encourage those moving abroad for work to immerse themselves in the culture of the country they are living in,’ says HCR managing director, Rob Dolbear.
“But, whether they are relocating on a temporary basis or permanently, many still have opinions on the policies of the different parties vying for election. And this latest recruitment drive by the commission is aimed at those wishing to make their feelings known.
“With the outcome of this year’s election likely to be extremely close, I wouldn’t be surprised if politicians themselves set out to target overseas voters over the coming weeks and months. Our clients’ employees should expect to hear and see party political adverts on social media, newspapers, radio and television – wherever in the world they happen to be living.”
The Electoral Commission is working in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Cabinet Office and political party networks to promote the campaign – and it has an ambitious target to sign up 100,000 voters.
“Those living overseas temporarily have a vested interest in having their say at the ballot box,’ adds Rob. “They will, at some point, be returning to the UK and it is only right that they feel they have helped to shape the political landscape here. Similarly, anyone choosing to stay abroad permanently, may still have concerns about the future of pensions and other issues like winter fuel payments.
“In addition to managing the logistical side of relocation, our specialists are on-hand to provide guidance and information about all aspects of living away from the UK. And that includes issues like voting. Many people aren’t necessarily aware, for example, that it is possible to register as an overseas voter online. Just because you are no longer living here, that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved.
“We are here to ensure that all our clients and their employees are aware of the rights of expat UK citizens – and the fact is they can still play their part, no matter where they might be living.’