December Question of the Month - Result

December 19, 1999

Should Overseas Residents be able to vote in UK Elections?

 

No: 27%

 

Yes, If overseas less than 5 years: 73%

 

Yes, If overseas less than 10 years: 0%

 

Yes, If overseas less than 20 years: 0%

 

Yes: 0%

 

At present overseas residents are eligible to vote in UK elections for up to 20 years. Is it right that people who do not pay tax in the UK should decide how the UK is governed? Until 1989 overseas residents were only able to vote if they had been overseas for less than 5 years. The all Party Home Affairs Select Committee has recommended that we revert back to the pre 1989 position. Do you agree? It is clear from the above result that Conservative Party members agree with the Home Affairs Select Committee. Why then have the Parties fudged the issue by agreeing to 10 years?

 

The Conservative Party originally expressed reservations, primarily because such a law would prevent Michael Ashcroft from donating money to the Party as he has been an overseas resident for more than 5 years. Foreign donations will not be allowed under the proposed legislation on Party funding, although donations from people on the Electoral Register will be allowed. Michael Ashcroft has now announced that he will take up residence in the UK.

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