CANDIDATES in May’s municipal elections on the Costa del Sol will be eyeing up their British residents after the news that nearly 16,000 of them will be eligible to vote.
British residents account for nearly 8% of the total registered population in Marbella, Estepona and Manilva, according to the 2022 Census of Inhabitants – and that’s not counting the huge numbers that are present but do not register.
However they had lost their right to vote following the UK’s exit from the European Union in 2020 as many Brits feared for their status in Spain.
This was eventually reversed last November by the Spanish government and now Brits are once again an important voting bloc for the local town halls.
But in order to vote they must be registered in their municipality, have a valid residency permit and register to vote – although the deadline has passed for these upcoming elections.
Citizens of non-EU countries with which Spain has bilateral agreements will also be eligible to vote, including Bolivia, Cape Verde, Colombia, Korea, Chile, Ecuador, Iceland, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, and New Zealand.
Number of Brits officially registered in each municipality on the Costa del Sol:
- Mijas: 8,610 British (16.09%)
- Fuengirola: 5,508 British (10.3%)
- Marbella: 4,661 British (8.71%)
- Estepona: 4,111 British (7.68%)
- Benalmádena: 3,420 British (6.39%)
- Manilva: 2,555 British (4.78%)
- Torremolinos: 1,353 British (2.53%)
- Málaga: 1,101 British (2.06%)