Politics Brexit set to dominate run-up to European elections
THE European elections will take place on May 23 with the UK set to elect MEPS – despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s efforts to deliver a Brexit deal through Parliament.
The UK was due to leave the EU by the March 29 but with no withdrawal agreement passed by MPS, Brexit day has been extended to October 31.
» When are the elections?
European elections are held every five years. Election day is Thursday, May 23 with polling stations open from 7am10pm.
» Who can vote in the UK?
You must be registered to vote and you have to be 18 years old or over to cast your ballot. British Irish or qualifying Commonwealth citizens or a citizen of an EU country can vote.
You must be a resident at a UK address but if you are legally excluded you cannot vote.
» Am I registered to vote?
The deadline for registration has passed. If you have not registered then you won’t be able to take part.
» Can I apply for a proxy vote?
The deadline for application to vote by proxy – enabling someone else to cast your vote – was May 15 so it is too late.
» How do European elections work?
The UK elects 73 MEPS out of the 751 in the European Parliament.
The UK is divided into 12 multimember regional constituencies. the population of each region deciding how many candidates can stand.
MEPS are elected by proportional representation from a list of candidate.
» Which parties are standing and what are their stances on Brexit?
» Change UK
In favour of a a second referendum on Brexit terms with ballot papers including remain as an option.
Theresa May hopes to see a withdrawal deal passed through parliament before MEPS take their seats in July.
Conservative MPS are split between Mrs May’s deal, remain or a no-deal exit from the EU.
» Green Party
The party has pledged to do everything it can to keep the UK in the EU and are in favour of a second referendum.
Leader Jeremy Corbyn has been meeting with the Prime Minister to negotiate a Brexit deal, despite party members and MPS calling for a fresh referendum.
» Liberal Democrats
Leader Sir Vince Cable says a vote for the party would give a clear indication the UK wants to remain in the EU.
The Liberal Democrats want a People’s Vote to confirm the public’s decision on Brexit.
» The Brexit Party
Former UKIP leader Nigel Farage says people who voted to leave the EU have been betrayed.
The party hopes to end the idea of a People’s Vote at these elections.
Leader Gerard Batten says his party is still the main voice for Brexit, calling for a clean withdrawal from the EU.
» What happened last time?
The last European election took place in 2014 with the six South West MEPS elected representing the Conservatives, Labour, UKIP and the Green Party.
From the 2009 election, UKIP saw a 10.23 per cent rise in vote share with 484,184 votes while Conservatives saw their vote share fall by 1.36 per cent to 433,151 votes.
» When will the result be declared?
All 28 member states of the EU will be voting.
Turnout will be announced on Thursday with counting due from 6pm on Sunday, May 26 with results expected from 10pm.