go to content

Everything You Need To Know About Voting In The European Elections

Polls are open all day Thursday. This is how you select your MEPs.

Posted on

1. You need to be on the electoral register to vote.

Mark Trowbridge / Getty Images

This means you must be over 18 and be registered on your local electoral roll before the 6 May deadline. If you haven't already registered then it's too late for this election and you won't be able to vote.

You can only vote in the area where you're registered, so if you're living away from home or have moved house recently then you will need to have re-registered at your new address.

2. You don't need your polling card to vote.

James West / Creative Commons / Via Flickr: jameswest

Yes, you probably had some piece of paper shoved through your door a few weeks ago that states your name and where your polling station is located.

But this is just for information purposes: you don't actually need to take your polling card with you to vote. If you forget it or have lost it then don't worry, just head along regardless.

3. You don't need any ID to vote.

Wikimedia Commons / Stratforder

You don't need a passport, driving licence or even a dog-eared loyalty card to prove your identity. As long as you turn up at your local polling station and state your name and address you will get a ballot and be able to vote.

Good news for forgetful people but yes, it's fairly open to abuse.

(The only exception is Northern Ireland, which has required voters to provide ID since the 1980s.)

4. You can vote at any time between 7am and 10pm on Thursday but only at your allocated polling station.

secretlondon123 / Creative Commons / Via en.wikipedia.org

This isn't always the polling station closest to your house – it's the one written on the polling card that was shoved through your door.

Annoyingly there isn't a national register of polling stations, so if you've forgotten then you'll have to look on your local council website for a list.

5. All you need to do is go into the polling booth and put a cross next to one of the political parties on the list.

Alan Simpson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

EU elections in England, Wales and Scotland are held on a party list basis, which means you only get to vote for a party, not individual candidates.

All you have to do is cross a box on the ballot paper next to the name of the political party you want to win. You can't express a second preference. Then stick your ballot in the ballot box.

For the purposes of European Parliament elections the UK is split into 12 large constituencies, all of which have multiple MEPs: London, South East England, South West England, East of England, West Midlands, North West England, North East England, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales.

Votes are counted across each region and then divided using a complicated system called the D'Hondt method which attempts to allocate MEPs to individual parties on a fair basis within your region.

6. Er, that's it.

John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

You've done your bit. Now sit back and wait for the votes to be counted.

The results will start to be announced from 10pm on Sunday night.

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss