EU election: Everything you need to know

Next week voters in Wales and across the UK are having to go to the polls to elect a new set of MEPs – despite voting to leave the EU in 2016. IAN CRAIG put together this guide to everything you need to know about the election.

When is the vote?

Thursday, May 23. Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm.

Where can I vote?

The location of your polling station is on your polling card. If you haven’t received one contact your relevant council’s electoral services department.

Who is eligible to vote?

Any British, Irish, Commonwealth or EU citizen living at an address in the UK who is aged 18 or older on polling day can vote, as long as they are on the electoral register. British citizens living abroad but who have been registered to vote in the UK at some point over the past 15 years can also take part. Prison inmates and people convicted of some corrupt or illegal practices are banned from voting.

Can I still register to vote?

Afraid not. If you haven’t registered to vote by now it’s too late.

How many MEPs are we electing?

There are 751 MEPs in total, with the number of members allocated to each member state depending on population. Wales has four, and the UK as a whole has 72 – the joint second highest number with Italy and France. Wales is treated as a region in its own right, meaning the four new MEPs will represent the entire nation. Between 1979 and 1994 Wales was divided into four regions – South East Wales – renamed South Wales East in 1984 – South Wales, Mid and West Wales and North Wales. In 1994 South Wales was divided into two constituencies – South Wales Central and South Wales West. These regions were abolished in 1999, with Wales becoming an entire region in its own right.

The country with the greatest number of MEPs is Germany, which has 99, while Malta has the fewest, at five.

How does voting work?

MEPs are elected on a Proportional Representation closed list system – also known as the D’Hondt method. This means, rather than voting for individual candidates, you vote for the party. Votes are then allocated according. So, once the votes are counted, the first name on the list for the party with the most amount of votes is elected. That party’s vote is then divided in two, and the second MEP is allocated to the party which is now at the top of the list – this may be the same party as the first. This continues for all four Welsh seats – if one party wins more than one seat its vote is divided by the number of seats it has won plus one. So, if a party wins two MEPs its vote is divided by three on the next count. It is possible that all four candidates could represent the same party, although this is statistically unlikely given the way votes are counted.

Although candidates can stand as individuals, all in Wales are running under party banners.

Who are the candidates?

Change UK – The Independent Group:

Jonathan Owen Jones
June Caris Davies
Matthew Graham Paul
Sally Anne Stephenson

Conservative:

Daniel Stephen Boucher
Craig James Robert Lawton
Fay Alicia Jones
Tomos Dafydd Davies

Green Party:

Anthony David Slaughter
Ian Roy Chandler
Ceri John Davies
Duncan Rees

Labour:

Jacqueline Margarete Jones
Matthew James Dorrance
Mary Felicity Wimbury
Mark Jeffrey Denley Whitcutt

Liberal Democrats:

Sam Bennett
Donna Louise Lalek
Alistair Ronald Cameron
Andrew John Parkhurst

Plaid Cymru:

Jill Evans
Carman Ria Smith
Patrick Robert Anthony McGuinness
Ioan Rhys Bellin

The Brexit Party:

Nathan Lee Gill
James Freeman Wells
Gethin James
Julie Anne Price

Ukip:

Kristian Philip Hicks
Keith Callum Edwards
Thomas George Harrison
Robert Michael McNeil-Wilson

When will results be declared?

Unlike most other elections, votes are not counted and declared as soon as polls close. As elections are being held in all 28 EU countries, results are not counted until polls in every country have closed.

As a result, results will be counted and declared four days later, on Sunday, May 26. All council areas will count their area’s votes on Sunday evening before sending them to Pembrokeshire County Council, which will collate the results and determine who has been elected to serve as MEP for Wales. The declaration of the winners is expected around midnight. The Argus will be reporting live from the declaration on May 26, so keep an eye on our website for full coverage.

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