Who is entitled to vote?
In general terms, all British citizens are entitled to vote in the constituency where they are registered on the electoral roll. This is providing that they are 18 years or older on the day of the election.
On this page we set out the other various categories of electors and any restrictions in entitlement.
Nationality and citizenship
European Union Member States
Citizens from Member States of the European Union must register as local government electors. Unless they have been granted British citizenship by naturalisation, they cannot vote in national Parliamentary elections.
British and Irish citizens are registered as ordinary electors and not as Europeans.
Turkish nationals are not entitled to register to vote in the United Kingdom. However, all of Cyprus is part of the Commonwealth and all Cypriots can be registered and vote in all types of elections.
A visa allowing foreign nationals to stay in the UK indefinitely is not the same as citizenship.
A person is not entitled to be included on the register of electors if they are not:
- A citizen of the Commonwealth
- A citizen of the Irish Republic
- A citizen of a member state of the European Union (such as the United States of America or Switzerland)
This is the case even if they have lived in the UK for many years.
British citizens resident abroad can register to vote by means of an overseas elector's declaration, provided that on the date the Declaration is made:
- They are not subject to any legal incapacity to vote.
- They were once registered to vote in the UK and less than 15 years have elapsed since the register they were on was in force,
- or a parent or guardian was so registered, if the applicant was too young to register to vote at the time.
Crown servants / British Council employee
If you are working outside the UK as a Crown servant or as an employee of the British Council, you can still register to vote. You can also register if you are married to a Crown servant or British Council employee and are accompanying them during their employment abroad.
Her Majesty's Armed Forces
If you or your spouse is a member of the British Army, the Royal Navy or the Royal Air Force, you can still register to vote.
If you are based overseas or you live in the UK but may be posted abroad at short notice, you can apply to register as a service voter. This allows you to be registered at an address in Great Britain while you are posted abroad.
You can still register to vote even if you do not have a fixed address. This may be because you are:
- A patient in a mental hospital.
- A homeless person.
- A person remanded in custody.
On this form you need to give an address where you would be living if it were not for your current situation, or an address where you have lived in the past. If you are homeless, you can give details of where you spend a substantial part of your time.
Email the Elections team (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Unable to find what you are looking for or have a general enquiry? Please contact us via our online form.
Last updated: 30/05/2023 12:50:18