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Electoral Register: British Nationals Abroad

Question for Cabinet Office

UIN HL3526, tabled on 28 April 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the distribution of registered overseas voters by their current country of residence.

Answered on

12 May 2020

The Government does not hold data on the number of overseas voters, or their distribution by constituency or current country of residence. Electoral Registration Officers (ERO) maintain a register for their own local area, including the number of overseas electors registered in their area.

In its report on the 2019 UK Parliamentary General Election, published on 21 April 2020, the Electoral Commission noted that just over 230,000 people were registered as overseas electors at the time of the general election. The Office for National Statistics also publishes electoral statistics bulletins with some information on overseas electors.

The Government does not hold information on the proportion of EROs that retain complete constituency electoral registers. There is no statutory requirement for EROs to retain previous electoral registers. EROs do however currently keep registers for 15 years to enable them to check the eligibility of those applying to be overseas electors.

The Government is committed to removing the 15 year limit on overseas electors and we will do so in a way that is workable for both voters and electoral administrators.

Answered by

Cabinet Office