On 23 May the UK will go to the polls to vote for who represents them in the European Parliament. It may be the last opportunity for many people to have their say before Britain leaves the EU. All EU citizens who are over 18 have the right to vote in the up-coming election. However you must take action to ensure you register correctly before the 7 May deadline.
Below you’ll find some helpful information:
- How do I register to vote?
- What is the European Parliament and why does it matter?
- Why is it important that we vote?
- I thought the UK was leaving the European Union?
- I’m already registered to vote, do I still need to register?
If you would like to vote to elect MEPs from your home country you have to follow the procedure here.
If you want to vote to elect MEPs from the UK you have to do the following:
- Register to vote by 7 May
- Download and fill in the European Parliament voter registration form
- Send the form to your local Electoral Registration Office by 7 May
- You can cancel this registration and vote in the elections in your home country 12 days prior to the elections – by 7 May
Representing over half a billion people, the European Parliament is one of the biggest democratic institutions in the world. Like our national parliament, the European Parliament debates issues and sets legislation. This affects all our lives. We elect Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) every five years to represent our interests in these debates. The UK elects 73 MEPs.
The European Parliament is the democratic core of the EU. Electing MEPs is how individuals can have a voice in issues that affect them. Because of its democratic mandate, the European Parliament has become more influential within the EU as a whole. This means it has never been more relevant. The elections are meaningful and your vote is important.
These elections may also be the last opportunity EU citizens have to have a voice before Brexit. EU citizens are bearing the brunt of Brexit. Many people who are building their lives here feel insecure. Without the right to vote in the 2016 referendum or the following general election, it’s understandable that many EU citizens feel that changes being made are beyond their control. The EU elections are an opportunity for EU citizens to have a voice and send a clear message.
Initially, the elections were not planned as the UK planned to leave the European Union on 29 March 2019. However, the British government requested for this date to be pushed back. This was approved and as a result the date for the UK’s withdrawal is now set for 31 October.
As a result the UK is legally obliged to hold elections to the European Parliament on 23 May unless a deal is done sooner. As it is the default position for the elections to take place, the Electoral Commission and local councils have already started preparing.
Yes! Even if you’ve voted before, you still need to take action now to ensure you have the right to vote. You need to follow the guidance above before 7 May.