Running electoral registration - England

Eligibility conditions for registering as an overseas elector

British citizens (which includes eligible Irish citizens and citizens of the Crown Dependencies)1 may register as overseas electors if they are now living abroad, providing they are:

  • a person who was previously registered to vote in the UK, either before they left the UK or as an overseas elector – known as the previously registered condition
  • a person who was previously resident in the UK (including those who left the UK before they were old enough to register to vote) – known as the previously resident condition

Applicants must apply to register as an overseas elector in respect of the address where they were last registered to vote in the UK2 or, if they have never been registered, the last address at which they were resident in the UK.

Previously registered condition

An applicant must use the previously registered condition if they have at any point been previously registered to vote in the UK.3

If an applicant has been previously registered at more than one address, they should apply in respect of the one they were most recently registered at.

If an applicant was previously registered in respect of more than one address simultaneously then the elector must choose which one of those addresses to register in connection with.

Examples of individuals who may be eligible to register under this condition include:

  • a person who, before they left the UK, was registered to vote as an ordinary elector
  • a person who has previously been registered as an overseas elector and whose declaration has expired
  • a person last registered on the basis of a declaration of local connection, as a merchant seaman or as a service voter. 

Previously resident condition

To be eligible under the previously resident condition an applicant must have been previously resident4 in the UK but never been registered to vote. This includes:  

  • a person who was resident in the UK but not registered
  • a person who was too young to register when they left the UK
  • a person who was of no fixed abode5 when they left the UK and who would have been eligible to make a declaration of local connection or who left the UK before 2001 (when declaration of local connection provisions were not in force).

Diweddarwyd ddiwethaf: 13 Rhagfyr 2023