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More residents with UK past can vote in General Election

James Robinson, chairman of the Bermuda branch of the Conservative Party (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

A pool of potentially thousands of Bermudians and island residents will have the right to vote in Britain’s upcoming General Election on July 4.

Bermudians who lived in Britain and obtained a national insurance number now need only to have resided there as opposed to having 15 years of residency under previous legislation.

James Robinson, chairman of the Bermuda branch of the Conservative Party, said eligibility had been extended since the Elections Act 2022 came into force in January.

British Overseas Territories Citizens, which include Bermudians, automatically became British citizens in May 2002.

Mr Robinson told The Royal Gazette: “As anyone with BOTC has been a full British citizen since 2002 and many people moved to Bermuda from the UK, perhaps even 50-plus years ago, I suspect there are several thousand people eligible to vote in the upcoming General Election that were not in the previous election — and don't know about the change.”

However, eligible Bermudians have until the June 18 registration deadline to apply online.

Lord Cameron, the British Foreign Secretary, urged the estimated five million Britons living and working overseas to register to vote.

Mr Robinson said that the same website would apply to eligible Bermudians: gov.uk/registertovote.

They will need to add the postcode and address in Britain where they were either last registered to vote or lived, which determines their constituency.

Colin Blackwell, the deputy chairman of Conservatives Abroad, said: “They can ask anyone in the UK to be their proxy and if that person does not live in their polling area, they can exercise the proxy by post.”

However, Mr Blackwell said the eligibility would not apply to ballots such as the 2016 Brexit vote.

He added: “The franchise for each UK referendum is determined by a separate Act of Parliament on a case-by-case basis, so registration only automatically covers general elections.”

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Published June 08, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated June 08, 2024 at 8:01 am)

More residents with UK past can vote in General Election

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