EXPATS will hold the sway in many towns in this week’s municipal elections.
The number of foreigners registered to vote around Andalucia on May 22 stands at 82,483.
This means if all the registered foreign voters turn out on the day they would certainly change the political map.
The degree of influence however depends on the municipality.
Interestingly, nearly half of the foreigners registered to vote – 40,410 – are resident in Malaga province alone, where there are an incredible 152 foreign candidates hoping to become local councillors.
After Malaga, Almeria has the second highest number of foreign votes with 15,136 residents registered, followed by Granada (7,101), Huelva (6,386), Cadiz (4,700), Sevilla (4,119), Cordoba (3,612) and Jaen (1,019).
And of the foreign voters Britons account for around 40 per cent with 31,927 people.
They are followed by Romanians (14,065) – eligible to vote for the second time since their country joined the EU in 2007 – and Germans (6,893).
At the opposite end of the scale there are just three people from New Zealand and two each from Cyprus and Iceland who are registered to vote.
But there is still a large degree of apathy within the expat communities.
According to the local tax office a total of 370,000 foreigners are registered in Andalucia, while those on the padron is almost certainly much higher.
This means that, at least, three quarters have not registered to vote.
And past records show that expats – especially the British – can be reluctant to vote on the day even if they have registered.
It is now up to the prospective candidates to make a last ditch effort to secure the all important foreign vote.
You will be able to vote in numerous spots around your municipality from 9am to 8pm.