Election guide

On the 23 May voters in Wales and across the UK will take part in elections to the European Parliament – maybe.

They may become redundant if Labour and the Conservative-led UK government strike a deal to get Brexit passed in the House of Commons.

But there is little time and it is looking more likely than not that the polls will take place.

Candidates who are successfully elected will take their seats in July and hold them until the current Brexit deadline of October, unless matters are resolved sooner or another extension is agreed.

The UK has 73 seats in the parliament – split into different areas. Wales will be electing four MEPs.

Who is standing?

For European Union elections, parties stand on lists. You get one vote to support the party of your choice.

Candidates have not yet been officially confirmed – that will not happen until nominations close on Thursday – and not all parties have announced their prospective nominees.

Some have, though and so we know that the following people are putting themselves forward, with candidates listed in the order they would appear on the ballot paper:

The Conservatives have not officially announced their list of candidates but they are expected to nominate Dan Boucher, Craig Lawton, Fay Jones and Tomos Davies.

Nigel Farage‘s Brexit Party is yet to announce its full list but Nathan Gill is expected to stand.

Change UK has reportedly chosen Jon Owen Jones, June Davies, Matthew Paul and Sally Stephenson as its candidates.

Nathan Gill and Jill Evans are both sitting MEPs – the Conservative‘s Kay Swinburne and Labour‘s Derek Vaughan will be standing down.

What happened at the last EU election in Wales?

The 2014 election saw UKIP top the poll across the UK. Labour came first in Wales, .

While Labour‘s Derek Vaughan was re-elected with 28.15% of the vote, UKIP‘s list got Nathan Gill returned as an MEP with 27.55% of the vote.

The Tories‘ Kay Swinburne was re-elected with 17.43% for her party. Plaid Cymru came forth but held on to Jill Evans‘ seat with 15.26%

It meant that the status-quo from the previous election in 2009 remained.

Why is this happening?

It is a result of the UK government‘s Brexit deal failing to pass in the House of Commons, and the fact the process has been extended into the autumn.

The UK was originally due to leave on 29 March, but Brexit has now been extended to 31 October.

If a deal is agreed in the Commons, however, the UK could leave before Halloween.

Prime Minister Theresa May has said there is a possibility the parliamentary elections could be avoided if a deal is passed before 22 May.

How does the election work?

Wales‘ MEPs are elected through a system named after a Belgian lawyer and mathematician, Victor D‘Hondt, and via party lists.

After the votes are counted the party with the most wins the first MEP, with the first name from the top of its list being elected.

The number of MEPs the party has won so far is added to its total, and then its vote is divided in half. The totals are crunched again, and the party who comes out on top wins the second seat.

The process is repeated until all the MEPs are allocated. If a party wins more than one MEP then the next candidate down its list will be elected, and so on.

Where is the count taking place and how do I vote?

Pembrokeshire council is responsible for the European election in Wales.

It is expected to hold the count in Haverfordwest on Sunday 26 May – three days after the poll is held.

You will need to be registered to vote – if you have not done so you need to be registered by 7 May.

You can do so at the where you can also register to vote by proxy or by post.