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What happened at the last EU election, when only a third of voters turned up




Newmarket polling station (10996783)
Newmarket polling station (10996783)

Last time residents across the area had the opportunity to vote in EU elections, just one in three potential voters turned up to their local polling station.

But with new parties competing for votes this week, and renewed focus on European politics following the fallout from the Brexit negotiations, turnout and results are likely to differ significantly this time round.

Back in 2014, just 12,688 people submitted a valid vote in Forest Heath on May 22, the last time elections for the European Parliament were held.

It was only 33 per cent of the people on the electoral role – amid the lowest turnout in a national election across the UK for a decade.

In the district the largest share of the vote, 46 per cent, went to the UK Independence Party. The Conservatives (28 per cent) and Labour (11 per cent) came second and third in the area respectively.

And in East Cambridgeshire just 21,016 people submitted a valid vote. The largest share of the vote, 32 per cent, went to the Conservatives. Ukip (31 per cent) and Labour (12 per cent) came second and third in the area respectively. Turnout was 33 per cent.

Across the East of England electoral region, Ukip topped the polls, with 34 per cent of the vote, meaning the region sent three MEPs from the party to Brussels.

The remaining votes meant three Conservative MEPs and one Labour were also returned to the European Parliament by the East of England's electorate.

Bourne Grammar School, South Road, Bourne, Mock Elections,.Hectic scenes inside the 'polling station' as pupils register and post ballot papers. (10996590)
Bourne Grammar School, South Road, Bourne, Mock Elections,.Hectic scenes inside the 'polling station' as pupils register and post ballot papers. (10996590)

But turnout was much higher for the referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU two years later: 73 per cent of Forest Heath’s electorate cast a vote, with 65 per cent of them in favour of leaving the EU, and in East Cambridgeshire turnout was similar but had 51 per cent of voters wanting to leave the bloc.

Voting stations are open today until 10pm, and your assigned station is printed on your polling card. But the results will not be released until Sunday evening, after all EU member states have closed their polling stations.

The elections are run on a list system and voters just select a party. In the East of England, the parties up for selection, followed by the candidates, are:

Green Party: Catherine Rowett, Rupert Read, Martin Schmierer, Fiona Radic, Paul Jeater, Pallavi Devulapalli, Jeremy Caddick.

Labour: Alex Mayer, Chris Vince, Sharon Taylor, Alvin Shum, Anna Smith, Adam Scott, Javeria Hussain.

Liberal Democrat: Barbara Ann Gibson. Lucy Kathleen Nethsingha, Fionna Tod, Stephen Robinson, Sandy Walkington, Marie Goldman, Jules Ewart.

Change UK: Emma Taylor, Neil Carmichael, Bhavna Joshi, Michelle de Vries, Amanda Gummer, Thomas Graham, Roger Casale.

Independent: Attila Csordas.

Conservative Party: Geoffrey Charles Van Orden, John Christopher Flack, Joe Rich, Thomas McLaren, Joel Charles, Wazz Mughal, Thomas Smith.

The Brexit Party: Richard Tice, Michael Heaver, June Mummery, Paul Hearn, Priscilla Huby, Sean Lever, Edmund Fordham.

UKIP: Stuart Agnew, Paul Oakley, Elizabeth Jones, William Ashpole, Alan Graves, John Wallace, John Whitby.

English Democrats: Robin Tilbrook, Charles Vickers, Bridget Vickers, Paul Wiffen.



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