Will We Get Our Ballot Papers in Time to Return Them and Your Options?

Now that we know that the General Election is to be on the 12th December, for those of us eligible to vote, this raises the question of will our Ballot Papers reach us in time to return them before Polling Day.
Looking at the appalling delay in receiving Christmas post last year here in France, this gives genuine rise for concern.
If you have someone you can trust living in UK you can appoint them to be your proxy. This person does not have to live in the constituency in which you are registered to vote, but must be on the Electoral Register in their own constituency.
This is explained in full on the Electoral Commission’s website, search Appointing a Proxy.
Please inform any other Brits whom you know are still entitled to vote, as they may not know of this.
Yet again, UK citizens living outside the UK have been put at an electoral disadvantage and this could be one way of fighting back.


Our local authority in the UK sent us forms to register a proxy.
The form is generic AFAIK (certainly the front page). Maybe that’s the way to go… (just send it to your own LA, not mine :wink:
Application Overseas Absent Vote.pdf (164.9 KB)
It will depend on your LA but in our case, I think we can print it off, fill it in and send it by email to Electoral Registration Officer.

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Do it straight away, as if your proxy doesn’t live near your constituency then they will have to apply for a postal vote themselves if they can’t make the journey to vote at your polling station.

(That’s the easy bit. The hard decision is which set of numpties to vote for!)

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Does the 15 year rule still apply?
I tried to vote before my 15 years were up, but recieved nothing but an email from my previous local authority

Unfortunately it still does, despite the Tories putting it in the same Manifesto as the Referendum.
The will of the people, or Tory HQ?

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Just registered for postal vote in Tandridge (after 12 years away). Never felt the need before but this one is important. I checked with the guy who has been most efficient sorting this out for me and this is his reply …

provided the election is confirmed for the 12th of December, the deadline for postal votes is likely to be 26th November and the deadline for proxy votes is likely to be 4th December.

I’m surprised you’ve had problems with Christmas post here Jane. We’ve always found it very speedy.

From the Guardian just now:
“The AEA said:
As postal vote packs cannot be printed until candidate nominations close in the middle of November, it may be prudent for UK voters living overseas to consider setting up a proxy vote to have someone they trust vote on their behalf on 12 December.”

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We were not the only ones. There seemed to be a problem all over France, which was flagged up on this site.

Yet again UK citizens not considered.
The Tories probably think we will all vote for a Remain Party, so why should they care.

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Good point Jane. I hope you don’t mind but I have shared your post on a Tarn et Garonne FB page.

As an added extra I am happy to act as a proxy for anyone that needs one (as long as you are voting against Brexit!)

…can I say that? PM me if I can help.


No problems with that.

However, according to Electoral law, you cannot act as a proxy for more than two people to whom you are not related. Kind idea though.


Received mine by email yesterday. Signed, scanned and returned within the hour.

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Just emailed an absent voting form to my council in the UK - changing from postal to proxy as I do not want to miss out on being able to have a valid vote !


We have just done exactly the same this morning - our daughter will vote on our behalf. Completed forms emailed in.


The challenge is if you have no-one whom you trust to act as proxy who (as I understand it) must vote in your old constituency. No family, and friends are far-flung. So for us, that just doesn’t work.

If you appoint a Proxy for a British citizen living overseas, you send your form signed and scanned to your constituency council Elections Office.
They will confirm to you that this person has been accepted as your proxy.
If this person does not live in the same constituency where you vote, they
then have to apply for a Proxy vote on your behalf by 5 pm, 11 working days before the poll. and your polling card will be sent to them for them to complete and return to your constituency.
This is extremely convoluted and will, I think result in fewer votes from British electors in the EU.
However, if you want to vote Lib Dem, there is a process that is being finalised at the moment by Lib Dems in France in conjunction with Lib Dem HQ in UK, to put you in touch with a Lib Dem supporter in UK who will act as your proxy.
I will post the relevant website on here as soon as I know that this has been set up.
I have just been talking to our Elections Office in Stroud and they have told me that they are sending out ballot papers to overseas addresses a week earlier than those in UK. Perhaps you can contact your council elections office and see if they intend to do the same.
You can then weigh up which path you would like to follow.
I hope this helps.

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Thanks Jane, very helpful.

Following on from these comments…
If you do not have a person in your voting constituency to act as your proxy, email the constituency offices of the party you wish to vote for and ask them to nominate a party member to act as your proxy…

DON’T waste your vote…


Last time round my proxy applied for a postal vote, which worked fine. Avoids them having to trudge miles to vote in your old constituency.

Here is our blog post covering Proxy vs Postal votes and the hot topic of Tactical Voting.

How do you make sure your vote counts in this General Election? Make sure you Register and Vote!