The Electoral Commission

The independent body which oversees elections and regulates political finance in the UK

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Everything you need to to know about the 2019 European Parliamentary elections

European Parliamentary elections

On Thursday 23 May, voters will elect 73 MEPs to represent the UK in the European Parliament.

At the 2014 European Parliamentary elections in the UK, turnout was 35.6%.


In this year’s campaign for the local elections, which ended on 12 April, there were over 570,000 applications to register to vote across England and Northern Ireland.

The deadline to register to vote for the EPEs was Tuesday 7 May.

Since 1 January 2019, 38 new political parties have registered with us. You can view registered parties. There are currently 421 registered parties.

Electing MEPs

South East England has the highest number of MEPs to be elected (10) while Wales has four, Scotland six and Northern Ireland three. Find out more about the logistics.

In Great Britain, a closed list system is used to elect MEPs. Voters put one cross against the party or independent candidate they wish to vote for. Seats are assigned using the d’Hondt formula.

In Northern Ireland, the single transferable vote (STV) system is used. Voters mark their preferences in order (1, 2, 3, and so on).


There will be approximately 40,000 polling stations across the UK and around 100,000 polling staff on election day.

There are 11 Regional Returning Officers across Great Britain and one Chief Electoral Officer for Northern Ireland. You can download the Regional Returning Officer contact details.

Counting can only begin after 10pm on Sunday 26 May when polls across the EU have closed. In Northern Ireland the count will begin on Monday, as the STV system takes longer to count. In Scotland the result will not be declared until Monday. Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles) will commence counting on Monday morning.


At the 2014 European Parliamentary elections, political parties reported spending just over £10.8m. More information about expenditure in:

The total cost of 2014 European Parliamentary elections was £108,689,344.

  • £2.5 million was spent on returning officers’ services
  • £65.6 million was spent on returning officers’ expenses
  • £40.6 million was spent on  candidate mailings

£330,816 was paid back in forfeited candidate deposits.

Regions followed by number of MEPs and spending limits for parties

RegionNumber of MEPSSpending limits for parties
East Midlands5£225k
East of England7£315k
North East of England3£135k
North West England8£360k
South East England10£450k
South West England6£270k
West Midlands7£315k
Yorkshire and Humber6£270k
Northern Ireland3£135k