Thousands of eligible expats didn’t get vote slips in time in EU Referendum

BREXIT UPDATE: Expats' trouble with postal votes that arrived late, unpaid for, or not at all

LAST UPDATED: 25 Jun, 2016 @ 19:22

Stephen Davies (left) and Harry Ramsden in The Sabinillas Bookshop
Stephen Davies (left) and Harry Ramsden in The Sabinillas Bookshop

DUE to a postal error and issues with registering, it is believed that  tens of thousands of ‘key’ Remain-voting expats could not vote in the historic EU Referendum on June 23.

In a vote which saw Britain choose to sever its membership with the European Union, expats along the Costa del Sol and inland – many of whom rely on EU membership for free healthcare – are, for the most part, flummoxed.

“I had dozens in my shop alone who got their slips one or two days before,” said The Sabinillas Bookshop owner and postal service holder Stephen Davies, 47.

“This was too late to vote and they were left very upset.
“There are hundreds if not thousands of places like mine on the coast where expats were relying on good postal service to get their votes and they were bitterly disappointed.”

He added: “They were all for remain and are devastated.”

“The postal service is just too unreliable and we are too big a group to ignore – in fact many, many more than Sunderland or Newcastle.

“This is a disgrace – we demand a vote which includes all expats who live abroad, there are around 1.3 million of us, eligible to vote, living abroad in the EU alone.”

Another expat Brian Flude is also very concerned about lapses in the postal vote.

Many ‘postage paid’ envelopes received were only eligible for free postage within the UK and were ‘binned by the Spanish postal service as they were not paid for’.

“It appears that many hundreds of people in Spain and elsewhere were denied the right to vote due to the incompetence of local councils and possibly the Spanish postal service,” said Flude.

“There have been posts and comments to this effect on the Citizens Advice Bureau Facebook page and I believe that this is just the tip of a very big iceberg.”

Meanwhile, a petition calling for a second EU Referendum, which had 900,000 signatures this morning had gathered 1.75 million by 3pm.

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  1. We received our postal vote within 3 days of it being posted in the UK, this was some 4 weeks ago, normally our postal service is rubbish, with lots of mail never arriving
    Ralph Knottingley Mijas Costa

  2. I live inland from the Costa del All in Alhaurin El Grande. I arranged weeks ago for a proxy vote. My sister did mine so no problems. I was told it was the best way to do it because of the post. I signed the online petition for a second referendum so maybe we will get another chance to get it right this time.

  3. Is the OLIVE PRESS bringing this to the attention of those responsible in the UK & if so, what response did they get? If indeed there were “thousands” then it should be taken seriously and taken into account should the House discuss the petition (despite the fraudulent signatories that have been found…..see the Telegraph report at “” )

  4. I know someone who received a postal vote which was postmarked the day of hte election – so no way it could have arrived on time. What number are we talking about here ? Could it be the missing million that would have made a difference ?