How would the UK vote in the European election?

Should Britain extend Article 50 for a longer period of time, as is looking extremely likely, the UK would need to take part in elections to the European Parliament in May.

If this does result, Britain would be electing 73 MEPs to represent the entire country, as well as Gibraltar (considered part of South West England in European elections). They are elected using a form of proportional representation, known as the D’Hondt method.

In 2014, at the last election, UKIP came first, winning 24 seats. It was the first time that a party other than the Labour Party or the Conservatives won a national election since 1906.

However, following a number of defections from UKIP, the make-up of Britain’s MEPs has changed considerably since the election.

So how would people vote if we do end up voting on May 23rd in another European election? Would we be sending, as Nigel Farage has previously claimed, 73 Brexiteer MEPs to Brussels? In short, no.

A poll of just over 2,000 voters last week puts Labour ahead of the Conservatives by one percent, with UKIP some 10 percent down on the last election and in third place. The Liberal Democrats and the SNP would make modest gains in vote share, with the Greens losing about a quarter of their vote from 2014. It is important to bear in mind that the Brexit Party, with notable MEP Nigel Farage, was not included in this poll and this could affect the UKIP and other parties vote share.

In terms of seats, this would see Labour and the Conservatives tied with 25 seats each. UKIP, meanwhile, would lose over half of its MEPs, cut down to 11. The Liberal Democrats would bounce back from their historic low to five seats in the European Parliament, with the SNP also gaining one seat. Meanwhile, the Green Party, following gains in 2014, look set to lose all their seats – 20 years after the first UK Green MEP was elected. Plaid Cymru are expected to see no change in their number of seats.

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