Oxford City Council has published a Notice of Election, which outlines the procedures for voting in the European Parliamentary Election.
The announcement of the election, which came on Monday, follows the agreement to extend the UK’s exit from the European Union until 31 October. While the UK remains part of the EU, it is required to elect members of European parliament. The government maintains that participating in EU elections can still be avoided if Parliament agrees to pass May’s thrice defeated Withdrawal Agreement.
The election will take place on 23 May with polling stations in Oxford open from 7am to 10pm. The deadline for voter registration is 7 May. Registered electors will receive a polling card in the post which will inform them of their polling station. You can register to vote here.
Registered UK nationals do not need to register again. Students can register both at their home address and at their university, but may only vote at one of these. Citizens from European Union countries other than the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Malta and Cyprus have been sent a form which must be returned by 7 May in order to vote in the UK rather than their home country at the European Election.
A list of parties and candidates nominated for the election will be published in a statement on the Council’s website on 26 April. Oxford is part of the South East Region which elects 10 members through a system of proportional representation.
In the 2014 elections, the party which received the highest number of votes in South East England was UKIP, which received four MEPs including Nigel Farage. This was followed by the Conservatives who sent 3 MEPs, then Labour, Greens and the Lib Dems who each sent one.
Turnout to EU elections remains low relative to national elections, at 36% in 2014. Youth turnout has been particularly low, with just 28% of 18-24 year olds turning up to vote across Europe in 2014.
If you are unable to vote at a polling station on the day you can apply for a postal or proxy vote. A postal vote allows residents to post their vote to the Council before the election while a proxy vote nominates another person to vote on the elector’s behalf at their polling station. The deadlines to apply for a postal and proxy votes are 5pm on 8 May and 5pm on 15 May respectively.
The results of the European Parliamentary Election will be announced on 26 May.
Image Credit: European Union