ELECTIONS to choose representatives to the European Parliament take place in South Lakeland next Thursday.

Sixty-one candidates across nine parties, with two independents, are bidding to become Euro MPs.

Up for grabs are just eight seats to represent the north west in Brussels and Strasbourg.

The eight MEPs chosen for the north west will represent Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside, with five million electors across the region able to vote.

Nine political parties are putting candidates forward including Change UK, the Conservatives, English Democrats, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Brexit Party, UK European Union and UKIP.

Two independents are also standing as individual candidates.

The UK as a whole has 73 MEPs of 751 sitting in the European Parliament who represent the 28 EU-member countries.

South Lakeland District Council said verification will take place following the close of polls at 10pm and will be held overnight at Kendal Leisure Centre

Again, the count has to be held on Sunday May 26 to align with the rest of Europe.

The count will start at 6pm and the provisional South Lakeland result will be communicated to the RRO in Manchester.

It is anticipated that the local count should take between two and three hours at which point the provisional result can be sent to Manchester.

Voters have one vote only, and this can be cast for either a political party or an independent candidate. Each political party puts forward a list of candidates and the number of MEPs that are elected from each party to represent the North West will depend on the overall share of the vote that party receives.

In South Lakeland, the Liberal Democrats gained the most votes in 2014 with 11,401, followed by the Conservatives on 9,507, UKIP on 7,203, and Labour on 3,243.

The eight MEPs currently serving the north west are Labour’s Theresa Griffin, of Liverpool; UKIP’s Paul Nuttall, of Liverpool; the Conservatives Jacqueline Foster, of Bromborough; Labour’s Wajid Khan, of Manchester.

Louise Bours, of the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group; Labour’s Julie Ward, of Manchester; Conservative Sajjad Karim, of Manchester, and Independent Steven Woolfe, of Chester.


Those with asterisk are sitting MEPs

Change UK: Andrea Cooper, Dan Price, Arun Banerji, Michael Taylor, Philippa Olive, Victoria Desmond, Andrew Graystone and Elisabeth Knight

Conservatives: *Sajjad Karim, Kevin Beaty, Jane Howard, Arnold Saunders, Wendy Maisey, Thomas Lord, Anthony Pickles and Attika Choudhary

English Democrats: Stephen Morris and Valerie Morris

Green: Gina Dowding, Wendy Olsen, Jessica Northey, Geraldine Coggings, Rosie Mills, Astrid Johnsoln, Daniel Jerrome and James Booth

Labour: *Theresa Griffin, *Julie Ward, *Wajid Khan, Erica Lewis, David Brennan, Claire Cozler, Saf Ismail, Yvonne Tennant

Liberal Democrats: Chris Davies, Jane Brophy, Helen Foster-Grime, Anna Fryer, Sam Al-Hamdani, Rebecca Forrest, John Studholme and Frederick Van Mierlo

The Brexit Party: Claire Fox, Henrik Overgaard Nielsen, David Bull, Gary Harvey, Ajay Jagota, Elizabeth Babade, Sally Bate and John Kelly

UK European Party: Sophie Larroque

UKIP: Adam Richardson, Jeff Armstrong, Fiona Mills, Nathan Ryding, Michael Felse, Ben Fryer, John Booker, Alexander Craig

Independent: Mohmmad Aslam, Tommy Robinson

The full list of candidates can be viewed at www.northwestvotes.gov.uk