As everyone must now know, Gordon Brown has finally set the date for the General Election for 6th May 2010. After recent months of a “phony war” the electorate finally has its chance to vote on the record of the Labour government in general and of Gordon Brown in particular. But not everyone realises that you don’t have to live in the UK to vote in the UK general election.

There follows an article written by my wife encouraging residents of the Isle of Man, as we are, to register and to vote. The Manx economy is closely tied to the UK economy and decisions taken by the UK government – including some tax one – affect us greatly hence the call to vote. The article is reprinted here as it also applies to UK citizens resident anywhere in the world. So read on….

Are you eligible to vote in the forthcoming UK general election?

Many people living on the Isle of Man may not be aware of their right to vote for the next government of the UK. The rules are quite simple: if you have been resident in the UK at ANY TIME in the last 15 years you have the right to vote, even if you are now a full time resident on the Isle of Man and registered as an elector here. This is known as “the 15 year” rule, but not many people are aware of their rights and miss the opportunity to vote.

Why is it important for the Isle of Man which government is in power in Westminster?

This question hardly needs an answer, given the actions of the UK government over the past two years and their attitude to the Isle of Man. Everything from our economy to our armed forces is affected by the UK government. The big issues for us at the moment are the ending of the reciprocal Health Agreement, the reduction of our VAT share, (and the level of VAT set by UK government), taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco, not to mention taxes on every booked flight and every ferry crossing. These are decisions that directly affect every resident and visitor to the Island.

Then there are the more indirect but equally vital issues that will affect the economy of the Isle of Man; the value of the pound (can the next government service its massive debt?), the cost of higher education (if university fees go up either the IOM government pays or students will be forced to fund fees themselves), the health of business in the UK (higher taxes equals less trade and more unemployment). On top of all that there are the subtle bureaucratic rules and regulations (‘elf ‘n safety to name but one!) that our own Manx Government seems to like to follow so slavishly in the name of harmonisation.
What must I do to register?

The easiest way is to visit the Electoral Commission website www.aboutmyvote.co.uk and scroll down to the link for Overseas Voters where you can download application forms to register to vote at the last constituency or council area where you were resident in the UK. Alternatively call the Commission on 020 7271 0500.

Your application must be received by the appropriate returning officer (local council) by 20th April to enable you vote in person, by post or by proxy on May 6th.

 Article Courtesy of Sue Green


9 Responses to “UK Citizen But Resident Abroad – Don’t Miss Your Right To Vote in The UK Election”

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  5. Carroll B. Hargreaves says:

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  6. Archibald Soto says:

    Great! My wife and I can vote Gordon Brown out of office (well contribute to that happy event anyway). Thanks. I really didn’t know that we could vote because we live in Spain.

  7. James Green says:

    I often wonder how I find the time myself. Actually I’d like to write a lot more but sleep takes over….

  8. Odzyskiwanie Danych says:

    How do you find enough time to write this blog ?!?

  9. Mapiman says:

    Great! My wife and I can vote Gordon Brown out of office (well contribute to that happy event anyway). Thanks. I really didn’t know that we could vote because we live in Spain.

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