The European elections on May 23rd are fast approaching and it has now been confirmed that the UK will be electing MEPs (members of the European Parliament), after it was initially thought Britain would have left the EU two months ago.

The European Parliament creates laws and approves budgets for the European Union, and is made up of elected members from all 28 member states. Currently, the European Parliament is made up of 751 MEPs, with 73 of these coming from the UK. Parties from across Europe work together in separate groups, based on ideology, to pass legislation.

EU elections have a different voting system to other elections held in the UK. In Northern Ireland, MEPs are elected using the Single Transferable Vote.

Voters cast their ballot for a party, rather than an individual candidate. Voters rank parties in order of preference, with ‘1’ indicating first preference, ‘2’ indicating second, and so on.

This video from the Electoral Commission for the Scottish council elections in 2017 explains how the Single Transferable Vote works.

Northern Ireland elects three of the UK’s 73 MEPs. At the last EU election, Northern Ireland elected 1 Sinn Fein MEP, 1 DUP and 1 UUP.



  • Naomi Long

Conservative Party

  • Amandeep Singh Bhogal


  • Diane Dodds

Green Party

  • Clare Bailey


  1. Jane Morrice
  2. Neil McCann


  • Colum Eastwood

Sinn Fein

  • Martina Anderson


  • Jim Allister


  • Robert Hill


  • Danny Kennedy