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Welcome to birmingham.gov.uk

The European Elections Voting System 2014

The electoral system used for the elections to the European Parliament in England, Scotland and Wales is a Regional List system of Proportional Representation which allocates seats in the European Parliament in approximate proportion to the number of votes cast for political parties and independent candidates within each region.

The system will be used in the election of seven MEPs for the West Midlands, and 73 across the UK.

Each political party nominates their candidates and indicates the order in which they want them to be elected. In the West Midlands, parties are able to nominate up to seven candidates. Independent candidates (by definition) have only one candidate on their "list". Electors vote for a party list or the one independent candidate.

On Sunday 25 May, the ballot papers received by the 30 local Returning Officers across the West Midlands will be counted in local count centres and the number of votes cast for each party/candidate will be collated in Birmingham by the Regional Returning Officer for the West Midlands.

Once the count is complete and confirmed:

• The party with the highest number of votes is allocated the first seat. The candidate at the top of the party's list is elected.

• The votes of the party winning the first seat are then divided by the number of seats they have won + 1 ( i.e. 2 ) and the resultant number of votes go forward to be compared with the number of votes for the other parties and candidates to decide who wins the next seat.

• The exercise is then repeated. As each successful party wins its first seat, its votes are divided by 2. This divisor is then increased by 1 each time this party wins a further seat. (NB it is the total number of votes cast for the party which is divided by the divisor, NOT the number resulting from the previous division.)

• In the event that an independent candidate is elected or all the candidates on a party's list have been elected, the votes cast for that party are excluded from the remainder of the exercise.

Information for registered political parties, candidates and agents

The Regional Returning Officer has held briefings for political parties, agents and prospective candidates and included information about electoral integrity; including the Electoral Commissions Code of Conduct; the nominations process; the appointment of agents and sub agents and other key information.

The Electoral Commission have issued Guidance for Candidates and Agents. This provides practical advice for anyone who wants to stand as an individual candidate or as a party list candidate at a European Parliamentary election in Great Britain. There is also Guidance for anyone who will be acting as an agent at these elections.

For further information, or parties/individual candidates interested in wanting to stand in the election, are advised to contact the office of the Regional Returning Officer by email WM_EuroElections@birmingham.gov.uk