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Changes to European Union Voting and Candidacy Rights

From 7 May 2024, following a change to legislation, European Union (EU) electors will only be able to vote or stand at Local Government elections in England if they are:

  • a qualifying EU citizen - a citizen from EU countries with reciprocal agreements with the UK, currently Denmark, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal and Spain (referred to as the EU5), or
  • an EU citizen with retained rights - EU citizens from other EU countries who were legally resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 (referred to as the EU19).

Note: Citizens from Ireland, Malta, or Cyprus will retain their voting rights in all UK elections while resident in the UK.

Eligibility Confirmation Review Process

We will shortly be writing to all EU citizens currently registered on the Electoral Register to either:

  • confirm that they are being retained on the register following a data-based review as being a qualifying EU citizen or having retained rights - no further action is required; or
  • ask EU citizens to confirm if they remain eligible to be registered to vote under the new criteria.  This will be done by asking electors to confirm if they meet the new historical residency requirements.  Electors can receive up to three review notices from us by email, letter and a personal contact.

If an EU citizen receives correspondence that requires them to confirm their historical residency, please follow the instructions contained in the e-mail or letter as soon as possible to avoid subsequent correspondence.

Further information can be found on the Electoral Commission's website

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