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Last Updated: Monday, 1 November, 2004, 15:21 GMT
Howard seeks to boost expat vote
Michael Howard
Conservatives Abroad has branches in 40 countries, the party says
The Conservatives are trying to maximise support from expatriate voters ahead of the next general election.

Michael Howard has tasked his former Welsh affairs spokesman, Nigel Evans, with mobilising Tory voters overseas.

Britons have a right to vote in their home constituency for 15 years after taking up residency abroad. Thousands of people have exercised this right.

Mr Evans will oversee Conservatives Abroad, the organisation set up in the late 1970s to boost expatriate voting.

Sustained bid

The organisation already has more than 40 branches around the world, says the party.

"It is vitally important that British Conservatives abroad are made aware of their entitlement to vote in a general election and are encouraged to do so," said a party spokesman.

"This appointment will further enhance and invigorate what is already a very successful organisation."

The Tories are the only British party to make a sustained bid for overseas support.

In the US, both Republicans and Democrats have undertaken major campaigns to get out the overseas vote for Tuesday's presidential election.

Mr Evans was the Conservatives' Welsh affairs spokesman from 1997 to 2003.

He resigned, and returned to the backbenches, when Mr Howard announced the shadow cabinet would be slimmed down to 12 - excluding the Welsh affairs post.

Tory MP launches attack on Howard
01 Nov 04  |  Politics

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