Harrogate guide to European elections - who has most seats in Yorkshire right now?

Voters in the Harrogate district go to the polls tomorrow, Thursday, in the most contentious European elections for decades.

Wednesday, 22nd May 2019, 10:28 am
How will voters in the Harrogate district vote in the most heated European Parliament elections in the UK for some time?

Despite the UK voting to leave the European Union in 2016, 73 members of the European parliament, the directly elected body of the EU, will be voted in today across Britain.

Polling stations open on Thursday, May 23 at 7am and close at 10pm with results expected overnight and into the early morning.

How Yorkshire voted last time

At the moment, Yorkshire & the Humber’s MEPS are shared between just three parties after the European elections in 2014 - UKIP two, Labour two, Conservatives one. The current MEPs are Jane Collins (UKIP), Linda McAvan (Labour), John Procter (Conservative), Amjad Bashir (Conservative), Richard Corbett (Labour) and Mike Hookem (UKIP).The UK has UK's 12 MEP regions in total.Nationally, after the 2014 European elections, Labour had 18 MEPS, the Tories 18, the Brexit Party 14, UKIP 3, Green Party 3 and Lib Dems 1.

How the electoral system + turnout affects the results

There are six seats up for grabs in Yorkshire and Humber in elections which are one of the few in the UK run on the basis of a form of proportional representation.

This affects the results greatly compared to General Elections giving parties whose voters are spread out geographically more of a chance of winning seats.

Another factor affecting the MEPs election is low turnouts reflecting the interest level - or not - of voters in the European Parliament.

The UK had a voter turnout of 35.6% in 2014 in the last European elections. This time because of Brexit pollsters believe this may rise to the early to mid-40s.

Harrogate's brief starring role in the election campaign

In an election debate dominated nationally by the resurgence of Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party, Harrogate itself briefly became the centre of attention last week during a heated campaign when it held a hustings for prospective MEPs.Organised by local pro-Remain campaigners North Yorkshire for Europe, The Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, Change UK, UKIP and the Yorkshire party all sent candidates to Wesley Centre.Much of the spotlight ended up on the Green’s Magid Magid, the first Muslim Lord Mayor of Sheffield.

What is our 'local' European constituency?The Yorkshire and Humber constituency was formed in 1999 as a result of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, replacing a number of previous single-member constituencies. These were Humberside, Leeds, North Yorkshire, Sheffield, Yorkshire South, Yorkshire South West, Yorkshire West, and parts of Cleveland and Richmond and Lincolnshire and Humberside South.

What is PR and how is the result worked out?The proportional representation voting system used is the ‘D’Hondt’ method whereby each party puts forward a list of candidates ranked with their preferred candidate at the top and the remaining candidates in descending order.Electors can only vote for the party and not for individual candidates. The first seat to be allocated in the region goes to the top candidate of the party with the most votes.Then, the first party’s vote share is halved, and the party which now has the most votes gets the second seat.This process continues, with the share of the top party in each round being divided by one plus the number of MEPs they’ve had elected in the constituency so far in the process.