EU election today: Who is standing, when you can vote, and how the decision is made

Polling stations for the election of MEPs are open until 10pm tonight.
Polling stations for the election of MEPs are open until 10pm tonight.
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Voters across Hampshire are taking to the polls to elect members of the European Parliament - who may not even take their seats.

Votes will be cast to decide the political make-up of the 10 MEPs who will represent the south east, which includes Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Kent.

Candidates are elected by proportional representation, in order as listed by the party, with the number of MEP positions each party wins being calculated using the D’Hondt formula.

This system ensures every vote helps to influence the final result.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm today, but the results will be kept secret until all voting across Europe is finished.

The results are expected to be announced from 10pm on Sunday.

Independent candidates and candidates for Change UK, Conservative, Labour, Green, Liberal Democrats, The Brexit Party, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, UKIP and UK European Union Party will all stand in the South East region.

The elections are expected to be dominated by the Brexit process, with the parties representing views across the spectrum.

For Robert Rowland, the Brexit Party Candidate for the south east, the elections are an opportunity to stand against the ‘Westminster elite’ and its attempt ‘to delay, defuse and dilute Brexit.’

He said: ‘There may not be a tanks on the streets, but make no mistake, this is a coup against democracy.’

Change UK candidate Victoria Groulef is standing to ‘fix our broken politics and to campaign for a People’s Vote.’

She said: ‘I passionately believe we need to remain in the EU and that’s what I’m campaigning for.’

The election also sees a number of candidates standing as independents, without any political party affiliation.

Independent candidate David Round, a former Mayor of Haslemere, Surrey, said: ‘In the referendum I voted to remain, but like many remainers have accepted the will of the people to leave.

‘I am always struck by the sheer common sense of the average British person and believe passionately that our country will do well whichever international club it belongs to.’

If the UK is still part of the EU by Tuesday July 2, the newly-elected MEPs will be asked to approve the final Brexit deal and vote to elect the new president of the European Commission.

List of candidates: 

Change UK – ‘The two main parties have moved to the ideological fringes, and it’s our job to change politics and provide a better choice for the future. We’ve come together from across the parties to get things done based on evidence, not ideology.’

Conservative - ‘The people have spoken and have decided that the UK should leave the European Union.

Our job now as Conservative MEPs is to help secure a deal that safeguards Britain’s best interests while maintaining the best possible relations with our European partners.’

Green – ‘Our Political Programme sets out what Greens are in politics to do: to end the system that keeps hurting the environment and all of us who rely on it – and to build a better alternative.’

Labour - ‘Labour MEPs believe Britain is better off in Europe. We work to ensure British interests and Labour values are at the heart of the EU. We fight for decent jobs, economic stability, fairness and opportunity for all - at home and across our continent.’ 

Liberal Democrats – ‘We will fight these elections on a clear message: a Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.

'From local communities to the EU institutions, Liberal Democrats are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.’

The Brexit Party – ‘promote and encourage those who aspire to improve their personal situation and those who seek to be self-reliant, whilst providing protection for those genuinely in need; favour the ability of individuals to make decisions in respect of themselves; seek to diminish the role of the State; lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses.’ 

The Socialist Party of Great Britain – ‘The establishment of a system of society based upon the common ownership and democratic control of the means and instruments for producing and distributing wealth by and in the interest of the whole community.’

UK European Union Party – ‘We stand for a kinder, gentler politics, and have one aim: to stop Brexit.

‘This is the party’s raison d’être, but we also stand for a broader, inclusive, centrist form of politics.

UKIP – ‘UKIP’s mission is to show the way forward for Britain as an independent, self-governing, democratic nation.  

‘We want trade, friendship and co-operation with the world.

‘We want a political system and government that represents the real interests of our country and our people.’