BRITS will today elect 73 Members of the European Parliament in an election that is expected to show views over Brexit.
But what’s the process like and how does the D’Hondt voting system work? Read on to find out…
How does the D’Hondt voting system work?
The UK use the D’Hondt voting system, which is a form of proportional representation where voters choose a single party instead of an individual candidate.
In D’Hondt, voters rank their preferred candidates and an average is taken to determine the winners.
The proportion of seats given by a party directly reflects the proportion of votes won.
In the first round of counting, the party with the most votes is allocated a seat for the candidate at the top of its list.
Under the d’Hondt method, each party’s total number of votes is repeatedly divided – until all seats are filled – by divisor 1 + the number of seats already allocated.
If it is still top it gains another seat. If not, whichever party has the most votes then gets the seat instead.
The original vote count of the largest party in each round is divided by one plus the total number of seats they have already been allocated, until all the seats for the region have been handed out.
Although the method is considered to be one of the most constant and representative forms of voting, the results do not exactly reflect the votes, as this would lead to parties winning fractions of seats.
We won’t know the results until late on Sunday, with some coming in on Monday morning.
A total of 73 MEPs represent the UK, the territories are:
- East Midlands – 5 MEPs
- Eastern – 7 MEPs
- London – 8 MEPs
- North East – 3 MEPs
- North West – 8 MEPs
- Northern Ireland (STV system used) – 3 MEPs
- Scotland – 6 MEPs
- South East – 10 MEPs
- South West – 6 MEPs
- Wales – 4 MEPs
- West Midlands – 7 MEPs
- Yorkshire and the Humber – 6 MEPs
Who are the UK candidates?
Seats in England, Scotland and Wales are given to parties based on their share of the vote for candidates on lists created by the parties.
In Northern Ireland, the country elects MEPs using a single transferable vote system where voters are able to rank candidates by preference.
The Conservative Party has 71 candidates standing.
The Green Party has 64 candidates standing in England and Wales and has six candidates for the Scottish Greens.
Leaders of the SDLP, the Alliance Party, TUV as well as Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson, DUP’s Diane Dodds and Ulster Unionist minister Danny Kennedy are standing in the election for the parties in Northern Ireland.
In Wales, Plaid Cymru has four candidates running in the election.
The SNP have six candidates in Scotland.
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How do I vote?
The traditional way to place your vote is going to a polling station and marking a cross on your ballot paper.
You can find out where your closest station is by going on the Electoral Commission website or looking at the back of your polling card.
Some people opt to vote by proxy, which means choosing someone else to vote on your behalf.
You can also ask for a postal vote.
Polls are open between 7am and 10pm for the European elections.
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