Home » Questions Answered » What are European elections?

What are European elections?

European elections decide who represents the UK in the European Parliament.

The UK is split up into 12 regions – one each for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and nine covering England. The people who live in each region vote for which political party they want to represent them in the European Parliament.

Between three and 10 candidates are elected in each region depending on their size.

European elections use the Party List voting system, except in Northern Ireland.

The Party List system is a form of Proportional Representation. This means people vote for a party rather than an individual candidate.

Each party makes a list of candidates for each region, with the people it most wants to be elected at the top of that list. The more votes a party gets, the more people on its list get elected.

So if a party gets one person elected in a region, then the person at the top of that party’s list is elected. If a party gets two people elected in a region, then the top two people on the list are elected, and so on.

Each person who is elected becomes an MEP, which stands for Member of the European Parliament.

European elections are not to be confused with general elections or local elections.

Related content:

What is the European Parliament?

What is an MEP?

What is the European Union?

What is the Party List system?

What is Proportional Representation?