With both EU elections and local elections taking place in May, UK Poles are getting organized so that their voice is heard with more and more Poles registering on their local electoral rolls. As EU citizens make almost 10% of the UK electorate and Poles are the majority of it, there is a real chance they will have an impact on the May elections results.
There are several campaigns run by Polish organizations and Polish media in the UK aimed at getting Polish people registered to vote in the UK and taking part in the elections they are entitled to vote. The "Vote" campaign initiated by Professor Zbigniew Pełczyński, "Vote! You are at Home", launched by the Federation of Poles in Great Britain, "EU Citizens Vote" represented by Ella Vine or "Vote! Vote! Vote!" created by New Europeans are just a few.
Since January, Polish Express, a weekly newspaper for Polish diaspora in the UK, runs a campaign "Polaku głosuj!". The paper publish information about elections, advice and other useful stuff on weekly basis. The section became so popular among readers, the newspaper prepared a special Election 2014 guide for its readers.
Justyna Satora, the publisher of Polish Express online said: "More and more Poles are in the UK not because they want to quickly earn money and go back to Poland, but because they genuinely like being here and want to be a part of this country". "They integrate with British society, are interested in local and political matters and they want to have their voice to be heard", she adds.
According to the research from the European Institute at Sussex University, the number of EU migrants registered on the electoral lists more than tripled in the decade to 2012. There are currently 1.3 million EU citizens registered to vote in the UK and it is still only 56% of those who are entitled to register.
Polaku głosuj! (Vote, Pole!) is a campaign aimed at getting Polish people registered to vote in the UK and taking part in the elections. It runs across the most important Polish media in the UK (Panorama Magazine, Polish Express Newspaper, Polacy.co.uk).