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EU elections: Who are the London candidates and how does the voting work?

PUBLISHED: 10:56 20 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:28 20 May 2019

Voters go to the polls on Thursday to elect the UK representatives in European Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor

Voters go to the polls on Thursday to elect the UK representatives in European Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor

PA Wire/PA Images

Voters will elect 73 members to represent the UK in the European Parliament on Thursday.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will be elected to the 12 electoral regions across the UK, including eight representives for London.

The number of representatives for each region is based on the number of people who can vote in that region.

There are 88 candidates from 11 groups (10 parties plus independents) contesting the eight London seats.

European Parliamentary elections are taking place across the EU countries from next Thursday to Sunday.

The last poll was in 2014, when voter turnout in the UK was just 35.6 per cent.

But what about Brexit?

This election would not have happened at all if the UK had withdrawn from the European Union on March 29.

Voters will go to the polls next week to elect the UK representatives in European Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'ConnorVoters will go to the polls next week to elect the UK representatives in European Parliament. Picture: Kirsty O'Connor

However, the European Council last month ageed to delay the British withdrawal deadline to October 31 and, as it still hasn't happened, Britain is obliged to participate in the election along with the other EU member states in the meantime.

This means elected British MEPs may only sit for a short time - or not at all - depending on when the Brexit agreement is ratified.

How are seats won?

MEPs will be elected by proportional representation in order, as listed by their party.

The first seat won by a party is filled by the first candidate on their list, then if they win another seat it goes to the second candidate, and so on.

All votes for each party and each candidate will be tallied, then the d'Hondt method is applied to calculate the number of seats each party wins.

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The first seat goes to the party or candidate that receives the most votes cast across the region - but then it gets more complicated.

After that, each seat is allocated based on who has the most votes after a specific calculation is applied.

The number of votes a party or candidate received is divided by one plus the number of seats they have already won.

So if a party has one seat, their original votes total is divided by two, then the votes are counted again and whoever has the most is allocated the next seat.

If a party has two seats, their tally is divided by three before the next round of counting, and so on.

Once an individual candidate is allocated a seat, or a party has won as many seats as they have candidates, they are excluded from subsequent rounds of counting.

How do I vote?

On the ballot paper, parties are listed first, in alphabetical order, followed by the individual candidates.

To vote, mark one cross against either the party you wish to vote for, or the candidate you wish to vote for.

You can visit your local polling station any time between 7am and 10pm on election day.

Anyone who has arrived and is waiting in line at 10pm will still be able to cast their vote.

Registered voters have been sent a poll card, which includes details of the polling station you need to visit.

You don't need to take your poll card with you to vote, but doing so will speed up the process.

If you applied to vote by post, you should have received your postal ballot papers.

Complete the papers and send them back straight away, as any postal votes that arrive after 10pm on election day won't be counted.

If you didn't register to vote before the deadline, you will not be able to vote.

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