Public strongly oppose votes for foreign citizens

September 05, 2013

Last week a report by Migrationwatch revealed that about one million Commonwealth citizens who are not British citizens nevertheless have the right to vote in our General Elections.

The government’s response was that this right to vote in our elections “reflects our close historical ties with Commonwealth countries. Excluding Commonwealth citizens would be significant and would require careful consideration. Parliament has previously taken the view that these rights should not be changed.”

Now an opinion poll by YouGov has found that the present situation is opposed by the public by 2 to 1. 60% do not think that these people should be able to vote in General Elections. Only 30% are in favour; 9% don’t know.

There is some variation across parties. Of those intending to vote UKIP 79% are opposed, for the Conservatives 69%, Labour 56% and Lib Dems 42%. The majority of people across all age groups were opposed with the older groups more strongly so. In London, opposition was less strong 48/39 compared to approximately 63/29 in the rest of the South of England (62/29), the North (63/29) and the Midlands/ Wales (63/28). In Scotland it was opposed by 57/35.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK said “Public opinion is rightly very strong on this. The situation is both very unfair and undermines the value of citizenship. The government’s response so far has been pathetic. When Parliament has considered it in the past MPs had no idea of the scale that this issue had reached. Now that the scale has become known, this hang over from the Empire must be tackled and soon”.

Note to Editors:

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,919 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 29th - 30th August 2013. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

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