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Citizens Of The Irish Republic (Voting Rights)

Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he has any further statement to make regarding the designation on the electoral registers of persons qualified only as being citizens of the Irish Republic.

My reply of 26 October to a question by my hon. Friend the Member for Knutsford (Mr. Bruce-Gardyne) described the position in Great Britain where citizens of the Irish Republic are not separately identified on the electoral register.—[Vol. 972, c. 327.] In Northern Ireland, however, the electoral register contains a marker against the names of those who are entitled to vote in Westminster and European Parliament elections but not in local elections. There are 4,986 such electors on the 1979 register, almost all of whom would be citizens of the Irish Republic. But there are also on the Northern Ireland electoral register other citizens of the Irish Republic who are not separately identified. It would not be possible without disproportionate cost to estimate the number in either of these two groups who voted in the United Kingdom general election of 3 May.