European Parliament elections in England, Scotland and Wales
The voting system
Proportional representation – closed list.
Who am I voting
Between three and ten Members of the European Parliament (MEPs)
to represent your region.
The UK is divided into regions, one
for each of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and nine covering
England. Each region is allocated a number of MEPs according to its
How to vote
Always read the instructions for filling in the ballot paper
carefully, even if you have voted before.
The ballot paper lists political
parties and independent candidates. Under each party name is a list
of candidates who wish to represent that party.
Simply put an X (a cross) next to the
party or independent candidate that you wish to vote for.
If you make a mistake then you can ask
the polling staff to give you another ballot paper.
You may also be voting in other
elections on the same day.
Who is elected?
In a given region the allocated seats are awarded using a quota
system. The quota is the total number of votes received by a party
or independent candidate divided by the number of seats already
gained in that region +1.
So, for a party with no seats the
number of votes received is divided by one, and so stays the same.
If the party already has one seat then its number of votes is
divided by two, if it has two seats it is divided by three, and so
This means that the more seats you
have already won, the harder it is to gain extra seats, so the
overall allocation of seats is more proportional to the number of
The first seat that a party wins goes
to the first person on its list, the second seat to the second
person, and so on, until the party has either not won any more
seats or has run out of names on its list. An independent candidate
is treated as though he or she were a party with only one name on