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EDITIONS
Voting in the UK Tuesday, 25 May, 1999, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
GB click-through guide (1)
Seats in England, Scotland and Wales are allocated according to a formula - known as the d'Hondt system - which takes into account the number of seats a party has already won in the region.

The aim is to elect MEPs whose political make-up reflects the general spread of voting more closely than the traditional Westminster First Past The Post method.

First, the votes are added and the party with the highest total wins the first seat in that region. The vote total for each party is now divided by the number of seats it has already won, plus one.

In other words, the party which gained the first seat has its total divided by two, while the other totals remain the same.

The new totals are compared and the party with the highest figure wins the second seat. The process is then repeated until all the seats in the region have been allocated.

The process sounds complicated, but can best be illustrated by using our click-through guide.

Stepping through

For the sake of this example, we are using voting figures from the 1997 General Election for the constituencies which make up the East Midlands European parliamentary region.

The Refendum Party won 64,209 votes in 1997 but has been omitted from this exercise as it is not contesting the European elections.

Similarly, the Others total is treated as a single party, but in practice each party and individual is counted separately.

Neither change affects the end result.

As you can see below, Labour won the most votes and the first candidate on the party's list is elected.

Click here for the second round.


First round
      Lab   Con   LibDem   Others   Elected  
 Total votes  received   1,097,639   800,958   311,264   20,680   Lab  
 Seats won  so far   1   0   0   0      
 2nd round  divisor                      
 2nd round  total                      
 Seats won  so far                      
 3rd round  divisor                      
 3rd round  total                      
 Seats won  so far                      
 4th round  divisor                      
 4th round  total                      
 Seats won  so far                      
 5th round  divisor                      
 5th round  total                      
 Seats won  so far                      
 6th round  divisor                      
 6th round  total                      
 Final seats  won                      

Click here for the second round.

Links to more Voting in the UK stories are at the foot of the page.


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