Many people have asked me what Conservatives Abroad is. Answer: It is the Conservative Party’s best kept secret! Let me explain.
Conservatives Abroad was established over 20 years ago in an attempt to try and help expats living throughout the world continue to participate in British politics. The 1992 election saw the pinnacle of Conservatives Abroad’s history, with the expat vote recognised as helping the party win a number of marginal seats.
Conservatives Abroad operates a branch structure with 35 active branches operating in 21 countries around the world. With each branch having around 40 members, there are about 1400 members of Conservatives Abroad, a number that is rising. As more and more people choose to live and work abroad, this number will continue to increase. The branches act as a distribution centre to their members for information originating from CCHQ as well as being a nucleus for organising social event at which MPs and MEPs are invited as guest speakers.
But this is the tip of the iceberg. 2.5 million ex-pats live abroad with the right to vote in UK elections. Only 17,500 registered to do so at the 2005 election.