European parliamentary elections

European parliamentary elections are held every five years. The European Parliament acts as a co-legislator, sharing with the European Council the power to adopt and amend legislative proposals and to decide on the EU budget. It also supervises the work of the European Commission and other EU bodies and cooperates with national parliaments of EU countries to get their input.

The next European parliamentary election is planned for Thursday 23 May. Find out more about the arrangements for this election.

You can find out more about the work of the European Parliament.

Who am I voting for?

Cheltenham is part of the South West region, which votes for six representatives at the European Parliament.

How are the votes counted?

In a given region the allocated seats are awarded using a quota system. The quota is the total number of votes received by a party or independent candidate divided by the number of seats already gained in that region (plus 1).

So, for a party with no seats the number of votes received is divided by one, and so stays the same.  If the party already has one seat then its number of votes is divided by two, if it has two seats it is divided by three, and so on.

This means that the more seats you have already won, the harder it is to gain extra seats, so the overall allocation of seats is more proportional to the number of votes received.

The first seat that a party wins goes to the first person on its list, the second seat to the second person, and so on, until the party has either not won any more seats or has run out of names on its list.  An independent candidate is treated as though he or she were a party with only one name on its list.