To donate more than £500 to the Conservative party, you must be on the UK electoral register, according to these rules. But there does not seem to be the same restriction on becoming a party member. They reserve the right to deny membership, but that does not mention citizenship as a criterion.

So, in 2019, is it possible for a non-British citizen to be voting as a party member in the conservative leadership election which will determine the next British prime minister?

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    It's not directly related to your actual question, but you should probably note that there is no requirement to be a British Citizen to be on the electoral register in the UK; EU citizens can vote in local and EU elections and Irish and some legally resident commonwealth citizens can vote in all elections. electoralcommission.org.uk/faq/voting-and-registration/…
    – origimbo
    Jun 25, 2019 at 12:24
  • Do you mean a foreign citizen (headline) or a non-British-citizen (main body)? They’re not the same. For example, Boris Johnson, one of the candidates, used to be a foreign citizen. He was also a UK citizen,of course.
    – Mike Scott
    Jun 25, 2019 at 15:25
  • Probably the best choice of words would be "A person ineligible to vote in a UK general election." With the implication that particularly in these difficult times, voters are already upset that the leader of the kingdom is going to be chosen by a fraction of an unrepresentative percent of the whole; and realising that some of them might not even be eligible voters would be even worse.
    – emrys57
    Jun 25, 2019 at 17:13
  • @emrys57 I think it would still be controversial if our next PM were (for example, not the actual situation) chosen by a body consisting largely of Irish and Indian citizens, even though they’re eligible to vote in all UK elections.
    – Mike Scott
    Jun 26, 2019 at 6:19

1 Answer 1


The short answer is "yes, but": the Conservative Party appears not to have such rules. But this election only determines who the next Conservative leader is. The next Prime Minister is determined by the Queen, and is conditional on having the "confidence" of the House of Commons. It is possible that a confidence vote will be held, at which point Conservative MPs may vote against it and collapse the government (although this will also likely result in their expulsion from the party).

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    Since the Conservative Party has no majority in the House of Commons, it is possible for the PM to lose a confidence vote without any Conservative MPs rebelling.
    – gerrit
    Jul 18, 2019 at 8:41

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