20 May, 2011 @ 09:00
1 min read

Spanish municipal elections: You hold the key

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.

Wendy Williams

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  1. Absolutely essential for as many of the non Spanish to vote as possible. If they don’t the authorities will persist in the belief that they can do what ever they wish with us and our property for as long as they wish,laws at whatever level, EU, National, even regional ones, be hanged. And then forget about the “rule of law” which here is an alien concept, like fair play.


  2. What is really wrong is that when one registers in the padron one is not auromatically added to the voting register as well. Or at least be asked if you would like to vote. In principle it is rediculous that you must ask for a democratic right! That is monkey land tactics. Besides that I my patience was really tested to get myself registered in the censo electoral. I had to enter an official complaint first. Politics here is about getting jobs for family and dividing black money. So the Spanish try to keep it for themselves. So in the world scale of competitiveness they end up between Poland and Kazachstan and the highest ambition in universities is to become funcionario, civil servant. I will go to vote sunday. It is the lrast I can do.

  3. It is easy to get registered to vote here – we had no problem at all. Interestingly enough, we went down to vote yesterday, quite late at around 6.30/700pm. I can read upside down and I could see quite clearly that our names were on a list of around a dozen Brits who live very locally to us. We were the only two who had bothered to come out and vote. Unless the remainder made a mass visit during the last hour the polls were open, I doubt they bothered. Bet they wont stop moaning about the result though.

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