The Spain Buddy EU poll results are now in. Thank you to those of you who took time to participate. We have examined the results and can now share them with you.
The short answer is 74.47 per cent of British citizens who live in Spain (and that took part in our poll) are voting to remain within the EU… 11.21 per cent voting “Out” and the remainder not voting.
But it’s a little more complicated than that. That’s probably the figure that most people are interested in – but for those who would like a little more detail… read on.
Of course this is not an official government analysis – merely those in our readership who the Referendum directly affect and who chose to take part. But the results we had in our poll during the last general election in the UK were almost exactly bang on. It will be very interesting to see how the figures match up this time.
Poll totals per province
The above table shows how many people from each province voted in our poll. If a province is not in the list, it is because we received no entries from that area.
The areas of Spain with the highest levels of British citizens are of course well represented here, with Almeria, Alicante, Malaga and the Canary Islands coming out on top. We would have liked to see more input from other areas popular with the Brits such as the Balearic Islands… which seemed to buck the trend with the number of entries compared to the number of British citizens who reside there.
Out of the total people polled, 1571 are choosing to vote by post, while 300 have appointed a proxy voter. 91 are travelling to the UK to vote in person, and (at the time these individuals posted their answer) 90 were still unsure how to vote. 310 are not voting so no method is applicable.
Vote to remain
Catalunya, Seville, Cordoba, Almeria, Granada (with 100%, 100%, 91%, 89% and 86% respectively) came out as very keen on remaining within the EU. Jaen’s pollsters came out as the area with highest number of Leave voters at 34.5 per cent. This was followed with 32.3% of Seville voters.
Karen Young, a resident of Arboleas in Almeria, shared her thoughts with us. She explained her choice, “I’m voting ‘in’ because there’s too much vulnerability in going it alone – we are stronger together. We benefit from laws made in the EU, and if you want to change the rules it’s much easier to do it from the inside than to be excluded and have no say at all.”
Lynda from Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands is also voting to remain. “The sheer uncertainty is going to cause financial problems”, she said. “Drop in the pound and in the markets. The brexit lot are mostly going on about immigration issues. Leaving the EU is not going to make much of an immediate difference on this. The ‘I want Britain to govern itself not having eu make the rules,’ well our own government does that already. Trade is more secure in the EU. When the long list of experts say stay and Donald Trump Boris Johnson and Russia say leave – need I say more?”
From Malaga, Tamara Essex had plenty to say about her decision to choose Remain. She explained, “This is a much bigger issue than simply continuing life here in Spain without visas or other obstacles. I firmly believe that the existence of the EU has played a massive part in European peace, and I’d hate for the UK to create divisions in Europe – that would be a massive retrograde step.
Secondly, we’ve seen the pound panicking this month, it seems completely obvious to me that our economy and vast numbers of jobs are dependent on the EU.
And the third big reason IS about travel, but I’m not voting selfishly here. Yes it’s true that all of us who live here benefit from EU visa-free travel when our friends and families visit us or when we pop back for a friend’s birthday. But it’s more than that – I want students to have the opportunity to study abroad and improve their language skills. I want British young people to be able to choose to be an engineer in Germany, a web-designer in Italy, or run a bar in Spain. And I want the UK to benefit from the skills that immigrants bring there.
People who want to take us back to a fantasy world of sunny weekends, cricket on the village green, and everybody leaving their front doors unlocked, are forgetting that we had people working 7-day weeks in dangerous conditions, living in damp, over-crowded houses, with an appalling child mortality rate. Don’t take us back to bygone days, we need to go forward with our European colleagues.”
An anoymous poll entry from Valencia said, “I work in Spain; I’m terrified of needing a work permit and it being denied. My work means I get free healthcare cover. My wages wouldn’t be enough for a ‘non-EU’ visa. The queues at the foreigners’ office take literally months, as limited tickets are given out.”
Vote to leave
Had there been no 15 year rule – the poll results would have been even more extreme – in which 80 per cent of poll participants vote “Remain”. Only one person who could not vote because of the rule would have voted to Leave.
Jaen, Murcia and Cadiz had the highest percentages of Leave voters according to our poll with 34.5, 32.2 and 20 per cent respectively.
Robert Vickery from Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca is voting to leave. “I am for leaving the EU. I was lucky to retire at 50. With enough to make my journey’s end comfortable. My business was outside the EU. it worked well. And I am sure that if we did leave we would be better off trading elsewhere.”
Howard Goldsmith from Alicante on the Costa Blanca is also voting to leave. He said, “My life is here in Spain but I am a proud UK citizen. I believe the UK is better than its position in the EU, I believe it can negotiate better trade deals and far more efficiently. I believe that Brexit will wake up politicians throughout Europe and make them respect the electorate a little more. I see no future for an organisation that is carrying far too many hopeless countries. Out of 28 member states we are one of only five who pay in more than we take out and I don’t believe we have a responsibility to bail out wasteful irresponsible others.“
Mike Twinn from Guardamar del Segura, also on the Costa Blanca, explained his reasons for his Leave vote. He said, “I have lived in Spain for nine years and I am voting out as is my wife Alison. The EU gravy train wastes so much money and lines the pockets of unelected people who receive vast sums of money a prime example being the Kinnocks. As a great nation the UK will thrive and prosper without the throwing of vast sums of money down the drain. Not one person has given me a valid argument to stay, and I definitely do not trust Cameron this after being a Tory voter all my life and I am now 68.”
One figure that really surprised us was the low number of participants who were undecided. Only 17. This indicates British citizens in Spain have pretty much made up their minds. That’s less than one percent.
What about the those not voting in the EU Referendum?
310 of the people polled are not voting. The reason given for the vast majority was because of the 15 year limit rule. This was particularly apparent in provinces such as the Balearic Islands, Biscay and Extremadura. None of our poll participants from these areas were eligible to vote – although almost all of those gave their reason as the 15 year rule which stops British citizens from being able to cast a vote. One participant in Cadiz was still waiting for their papers.
Most of those in our poll who were stopped from voting by the 15 year rule indicated that they would vote Remain if the law was different.
An anonymous poll participant from Extremadura said, “During the last election campaign, David Cameron promised to change the voting system so expats of more than 15 years would be able to vote. He has reneged on that. If we could have voted it would be to remain in the EU.”
Another anonymous participant, this time from Alicante, said, “No taxation without representation. As an EU Citizen I should be able to live anywhere in the EU but retain my vote in the UK as a British Citizen. British Council and Consulate staff are treated completely opposite and able to vote regardless of how long they’ve been gone.”
Eunice O’Rourke from Malaga said, “I am incensed at not being able to vote. I have paid tax in the UK on a small private pension since leaving the UK 25 years ago. I have a UK bank account. I have family residing in the UK and intend at some stage to return there. I came here through early ill health retirement knowing (at the time) that as an EU citizen I would have my healthcare & charges taken care of by the UK. Now I am an old pensioner and receive my pension from the UK, I am worried as to the outcome if it is a vote to leave the EU. I am not sure how this will affect my health care here or my old age UK pension. I worked all my life in the UK and paid my taxes in the UK and still continue to do so and I feel this should entitle me to a vote as to the future of the UK! I feel it is discriminatory to disallow people like me the right to vote, when the sector of the public I fall into could be adversely affected by a decision to leave. There is nothing I can do about it. I strongly feel as a UK citizen with a UK passport I should have the right to vote to do what I possibly can to protect my rights as a EU citizen like everyone else residing in the UK and those who lave left within 15 years .“
Hopefully those voting by post will have received their paperwork and have returned it – while those voting by proxy or in person will have everything under control. If not, get in touch with your local “Election Services Office” as soon as possible. Your office will be the last place you were registered on the electoral roll back in the United Kingdom.
Whatever your choice in the Referendum is – please do vote. For many of us, it is the most important decision in our lives so far.