Eligibility to vote

Page updated on: 31/10/2019

When completing your Electoral Registration form remember to include the names of all those living in your household who are eligible to vote. Eligible persons are:

  • British Citizens
  • Citizens of the Irish Republic
  • Qualifying Commonwealth Citizens
  • Citizens of other Member States of the European Union

You can register at 16 years of age or over, as the Electoral Register runs from 1st December to 30th November every year we need the dates of birth of persons just under 18 to make sure they are on the Register in time for them to vote. Although your name may appear on the Electoral Register before you are 18 you will not be allowed to vote until you are 18.

Qualifying Commonwealth Countries and British Overseas Territories

All UK residents from any of the following Countries MUST register.

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • The Bahamas
  • Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Botswana
  • Britain
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Cameroon
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Fiji Islands
  • Ghana
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Kiribati
  • Lesotho
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Malta
  • Mozambique
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • New Zealand
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • Seychelles
  • Sierra Leone
  • Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Swaziland
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Uganda
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • United Kingdom
  • Vanuatu
  • Zambia

British Overseas Territories

  • Anguilla
  • Bermuda
  • British Antarctic Territory
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Cayman Islands
  • Falkland Islands
  • Gibraltar
  • Monserrat
  • The Pitcairn Islands
  • St Helena and Dependencies (Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands)
  • Turks and Caicos Islands (This is not Turkey)

Member States of the European Union

Citizens of the following member states of the European Union must register as electors, but will be registered as local government electors only (unless they are also Commonwealth citizens such as citizens of Cyprus and Malta, or citizens of the Irish Republic, who can vote in all elections).  This means that Citizens of Member States of the European Union can vote at elections held for the Welsh Assembly Government, County and Community Councils but not at UK Parliamentary Elections. When it comes to the European Parliamentary election these Citizens can apply to vote for their address within the County rather than from their Member State.

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Ireland
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Hong Kong

Following its transfer to Chinese sovereignty on 1 July 1997, Hong Kong was deleted from the list of British Overseas Territories. As a result, former residents of Hong Kong are not qualifying Commonwealth citizens by virtue of their residency in Hong Kong as Hong Kong Chinese is no longer a nationality.

If an elector declares their nationality to be Hong Kong Chinese then the Electoral Registration Officer should exercise their powers to require evidence of the elector’s actual nationality and confirm the type of passport that they hold. Any previous resident of Hong Kong who holds a British Dependent Territories, British Nationals (Overseas) or British Overseas passport meets the nationality criteria for all elections in the UK. Any previous resident of Hong Kong who only has a Chinese Special Administrative Region passport is Chinese and may not register.

Council & Democracy