The European Parliament Elections will be taking place across Europe from the 22nd to the 24th of May. In Scotland we will be voting this Thursday the 22nd of May. As the only directly elected body in the European Union you have one chance every five years to affect the composition of one of the main bodies making decisions which affect you.
The European Parliament has the power to approve, amend or reject new European laws covering areas such as the environment, consumer and workers’ rights, trade and economic development.
The UK is represented by 73 MEPs. In the UK, there are 12 European electoral regions and each region is represented by between three and ten MEPs. You can find out who the candidates for Scotland are on the website of the European Parliament Information Office in the United Kingdom.
The voting system used for the elections in Scotland, England and Wales is the ‘d’Hondt system’ of proportional representation. Under this system you vote for a party rather than an individual candidate. The parties themselves then choose who goes on the candidate list for each of the 12 electoral regions. You can find a more in-depth explanation of this system here.
The results from the Scottish election will be announced on the 26th of May and will be available here.
The election of the European Parliament is the second largest democratic exercise in the world with over 400 million registered voters electing 751 MEPS in the 28 member countries of the European Union.
If you would like more information there is a display on level 7 of the library covering the elections and how the EU functions.
If you would like any further information the European Union Collection is located on level 7 of the library and staff in the Maps, Official Publications & Statistics Unit are available Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm, to help you.