THE nomination deadline for May’s European Parliamentary elections came and went yesterday, signalling the start of what is expected to be an intense four-week campaign trail for the region’s candidates.
Eight political parties, each fielding half a dozen candidates, will battle it out at the polls for six South West MEP seats on May 22.
Borough of Poole’s returning officer Paul Morris, who will act as regional returning officer for the South West in the Euro elections, said: “In 2009 we experienced a sharp increase in the number of candidates standing at the European election in comparison to the 2004 election.
“This year we have returned to levels similar to 2004, with eight parties standing and no independents.
“This should see electors receiving a far more standard sized ballot paper when they go to their polling stations on election day.”
The parties putting forward candidates this year are the An Independence from Europe party; British National Party, Conservatives; English Democrats; Green Party; Labour Party; Liberal Democrats, and UK Independence Party (UKIP) Poole’s Lighthouse Theatre will be the regional count centre where results from across the south west will flood in after polling day.
The results will be announced at Poole Civic Centre after 10pm, May 25, when Italian voters finish at the polls.
Currently the South West has three Conservative MEPs, two UKIP MEPs and one Liberal Democrat MEP.
Mr Morris said: “Anyone over 19 who is eligible to vote has until Tuesday, May 6 to register with their local authority to ensure they are able to cast their vote on May 22.”
For full information on the elections visit boroughofpoole.com/europeanelection.
- The European Elections differ from the UK Parliamentary Elections, as the list system for ballots is a form of proportional representation.
Unlike the UK’s ‘First Past the Post’ system, in the European Elections the seats get allocated to each party in proportion to the number of votes the party receives