Issan Ghazni encourages Europeans living in the UK to vote Lib Dem in May

European Union flagLast month, East Midlands Euro Candidate Issan Ghazni wrote that the party should be encouraging EU citizens living in the UK to vote for us as the only positive pro European party:

People in the cafes told me they were fearful of the anti-immigration rhetoric of UKIP and the Tory Right, and many would enthusiastically support the Lib Dems if only we made contact with them. We must, for they could hold the key to fending off UKIP and make the difference between keeping or losing our MEPs.

However many Eastern Europeans are unaware they had a vote. We need to spread the news that they can vote so long as they register. Others told me they feared being kicked out of Britain if UKIP ‘won’ the Euro elections.

He’s been putting that into practice in the East Midlands as the Boston Standard reports:

The candidate chose to tour five coffee shops in Boston and spoke to groups of Eastern Europeans. He said he found that everyone he met was working hard for a living but were uncertain about whether they could vote.

He said there were ‘unprecedented levels of fear over their future’.

He added: “I was welcomed with open arms in Boston because the recent arrivals were just so happy to hear our message on Europe, which is so different from all the other parties.

“Not only do millions of jobs for British citizens depend on trade with Europe but jobs in industries like the Lincolnshire farms, where they can’t get British-born workers, would collapse tomorrow if UKIP had their way.”

He said they told him of their fear at being kicked out of Britain due to the ‘hostile climate created by UKIP and certain newspapers’.

Ghazni said he reassured them they were able to vote in the European elections this May so long as they get on the electoral register, adding he felt many were enthusiastic about the Lib Dems, especially after hearing that the party believed in the free movement of goods and labour throughout the European Union.

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5 Comments

  • “People in the cafes told me they were fearful of the anti-immigration rhetoric of UKIP and the Tory Right, and many would enthusiastically support the Lib Dems if only we made contact with them.”

    Presumably these people in the cafes were unaware of the anti-immigration measures brought in by the Lib-Con government?

    On a separate issue, it’s a good idea not to spread the message that EU citizens will be “able to vote in the European elections this May so long as they get on the electoral register”, because that’s not sufficient – they need to fill in a separate registration form for the European elections as well.

  • I’m puzzled. We have plenty of EU citizens on our electoral registers – but they’re shown as “G – EU citizens entitled to vote in local government elections only”.

    Why?

  • crewegwyn

    Because in addition to being on the register, EU citizens have to make a separate application to vote here in EU elections, rather than in their home countries.

  • @crewegwyn – When my local authority sent around the list showing who was registered to vote at my house, there was a comment that EU citizens (bar those from IE, CY & MT) had to complete a special voter registration form to vote in EU elections. That form requires the person to register AND to declare they won’t double-vote if they are also entitled to a postal vote in their home member state. Possibly, the same applies in your area.

    Personally, I regard the form as a crude attempt to dis-enfranchise people and I’d imagine the ECJ would be extremely unimpressed by it. It is a case of presumed guilt (about double-voting) rather than the standard presumed innocent.

  • @Paul R,

    I think it derives from an EU directive. To vote in euro elections in Slovakia I have to physically turn up at the council office and register to vote each time a few weeks before the election and sign a piece of paper saying that I won’t double vote, the info from which is then sent to the council in my home area in England, they also have a symmetrical procedure to deal with such info about their own citizens being received from abroad – I know this because I was the only one on my estate to do this last year (at least up to 2 hours before the deadline), and the council officer basically opened the rule book and we looked together to see how it was supposed to work. Also EU elections are the only time that an electoral roll exists (otherwise they just use their lists of citizens, or citizens plus EU residents depending on the election, living in the particular polling district) again suggesting that EU law is setting the rules.

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