British High Commissioner in Cyprus Irfan Siddiq on Tuesday encouraged British nationals living on the island to register to vote in their country’s elections.

Following a decision announced in the early hours of the morning, the over 40,000 British citizens living in Cyprus will now no longer lose their right to vote in their country’s elections after 15 consecutive years of living outside their home country.

“It’s important that eligible people are made aware of the changes so that they can register to vote and cast a ballot when the time comes,” Siddiq said.

“If you used to live in the UK or know anyone who did, let them know they may be able to have their say at the next UK general election. It only takes five minutes to register, and it can be done online … It’s also now possible to apply online to vote by post or proxy,” he said.

British nationals who take up their newly won right to vote will be registered in the parliamentary constituency of their most recent address in the United Kingdom.

Speaking to the Cyprus Mail on the matter, former Tala village councillor Cathy Delaney, who lost her position when the UK left the European Union, described the move as “long overdue and necessary”.

She confirmed that she had registered to vote as soon as the law changed, but expressed concerns as to whether or not postal votes would reach voters in Cyprus on time.

“Whether any ballot paper sent out by post will reach us, I don’t know. They don’t allow sufficient time for postal votes to be sent and returned. Post could take three weeks to arrive here,” she said.

She also expressed disappointment at having her right to vote and be elected in Cypriot local elections taken away from her when her country left the EU.

“Cyprus will not allow Brits to vote over here because of Brexit. In votes regarding Brits having the vote over here, we hit a brick wall time and time again. There is no interest whatsoever in allowing us to vote, despite the fact we pay taxes here.”

She added that she wishes for all third country nationals “who pay their taxes here and who live here permanently” to be able to vote for their local representatives.

The move to allow British citizens living abroad looks a last-ditch attempt by the country’s ruling party to win back some votes, as current opinion polling in the country looks less than favourable for the Conservatives.

At present, the Conservative Party, led by Rishi Sunak, trails the Labour Party by upwards of 15 per cent in opinion polls, and looks likely to face a historic landslide defeat at the next election.

The next United Kingdom general election is due to take place by January 28, 2025.