British Embassy issues voting advice

in News · 15-11-2019 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

The British Embassy in Lisbon has issued advice to UK citizens regarding the upcoming UK election on 12 December.

British citizens who have been abroad for up to 15 years (and were previously registered to vote at a UK address) can register as overseas voters. Further information can be found at

The Embassy advises that if you are in Portugal and are eligible to vote in the General Election on 12 December, you have the options of voting by proxy or by post. “We recommend that you consider voting by proxy (nominating a suitable person in the UK to vote on your behalf). It takes time for a postal vote to be delivered, completed and returned, especially if you live abroad,” said a statement from the Embassy.

For those who want to vote by proxy in Great Britain, the deadline for your local Electoral Registration Office to receive your proxy vote application is 5pm (GMT) on 4 December.

If you want to vote by post in Great Britain, your local Electoral Registration Office must receive your postal vote application by 5pm on 26 November, in order to send your postal voting pack to your overseas address. Your postal vote must then arrive at your Electoral Office in the UK by 10pm on 12 December.

You cannot vote by post from abroad if your registered voting address is in Northern Ireland. If you are registered to vote in Northern Ireland, your application to vote by proxy must be received by 5pm on 21 November by the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland.
If you are an overseas voter, you should renew your registration every year. If you have not yet registered to vote, the registration deadline for the forthcoming General Election is midnight on 26 November (GMT).

“We are aware that many members of the British community in Portugal have lived outside the UK for longer than 15 years and, under current British electoral law, cannot vote in UK General Elections.

“Earlier this year, under the previous Parliament, the Government supported Glyn Davies’ Private Member’s Bill on Votes for Life, which would have extended the basis on which British citizens outside the UK qualify to participate in General Elections. However the Bill failed to pass the Report Stage in the House of Commons. The question of voting rights for British citizens living overseas will therefore be a matter for the next Government to take forward,” concluded the Embassy.


As I have now lived in Portugal for 16 years, I am not allowed to vote in the UK General election. Neither can I vote in the Portuguese presidential elections only the local Portuguese Council elections. Does this mean I am stateless and have no say in any country's government elections? I ought to be able to vote in Portugal after 16years residency, surely?

By Carole Ellis from Algarve on 16-11-2019 09:11
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