Very few members of the Romanian Diaspora in Britain cast their votes in the June 7 European elections: 287 Romanian citizens voted in London, Glasgow and Leeds for the Romanian candidates for the European Parliament. In London, 207 people cast their vote, in Glasgow – 51 and in Leeds – 29.
At one of the two Romanians voting sections in London, there were more tourists voting than Romanians living in the UK. "There is a generalised absenteeism trend in the entire Europe. It’s not just Romanian citizens not coming out t vote", a young woman told us after voting. She and her friend are living and working in Brussels, for the European institutions, and were spending their holiday in London.
A problem that seemed common within the Romanian electorate was the lack of expectations from the candidates. "I don’t believe it is in the current trends to have expectations when you vote in Romania", a man from Bucharest, spending a short holiday in Great Britain’s capital, told us. His restraint of optimism was shared by another Romanian, who had been living in the UK for the last six years. He told us that the only reason he voted was his hope to return to Romania one day, when the situation would have improved. He did not have any real expectation from the Romanian candidates.
Most interviewed Romanians said they voted either because they felt compelled to, or because they were bored. None of them expressed confidence in their choice of candidates or party.
Although some Romanians living in the UK voted for the British candidates, the British Electoral Commission did not have any statistics on how many Romanians there were or voted on the Anglo-Saxon lists.
One Romanian said she ended up on a list "by mistake ", after constantly receiving notices to her home. Her landlord registered her on the British lists and that prevented her to be able to vote on the Romanian lists. According to the Romanian woman, her vote was useless because she was planning to return to Romania and because she had voted in a country where parties do not believe in the EU.