Saturday

3rd Dec 2016

Focus

UK set to continue low turnout trend for EU vote

  • Turnout in areas where only EU elections were taking place was predicted to sink to just 15 percent (Photo: EdMadrid)

With the results of the UK European elections not due until late Sunday, and no exit polls permitted on Thursday (22 May), the day of the vote itself, there will no doubt be a great deal of speculation in the interim.

But one aspect of the vote which is becoming clearer is the turnout, which, as it stands, could well be higher than the 34.7 percent who voted in 2009, but is unlikely to exceed the UK EU elections high of 38.4 percent in 2004.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Turnout predictions during Thursday were rather pessimistic, a mood exacerbated by the thunder storms and heavy rain that hit parts of the UK.

According to one source, turnout in areas where only EU elections were taking place (that is, without the added incentive to vote in a local council election) was predicted to sink to just 15 percent.

But, as the night progressed, and the results of the English local council elections (held simultaneously with the EU elections) started coming in, the general turnout estimates took on a more positive hue.

In Croydon, in south-east England, Gavin Barwell, a Tory MP, said he expected turnout to be "typical for a local election, in the mid thirties [percent]".

In London, where all local council seats are up for grabs, the turnout could well be higher. In the borough of Merton, turnout was registered at 41 percent. And in one ward in the borough of Harringay, turnout was put at nearly 50 percent.

But outside of London, the turnout so far has been more typical of the non-General Election norm of mid-30 percent. For Sunderland city council in north-east England, 33 percent voted. And in one ward in Preston, in the north west, turnout was confirmed at 34 percent.

Still, even before the results and exact turnout figures become available, one thing looks certain: the UK will continue to have the lowest percentage of people voting in EU elections in Western Europe.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

News in Brief

  1. Talks on wholesale roaming rules to start
  2. Lead MEP Dieselgate committee: Italy and Slovakia will cooperate
  3. Transparency NGO sues EU commission on Turkey deal
  4. Pro-EU liberal wins UK by-election
  5. Finnish support for Nato drops, Russia-scepticism grows
  6. Cyprus talks to resume in January
  7. Documents from German NSA inquiry released
  8. Transport commissioner 'not aware' of legal action on emissions

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Gaming & Betting AssociationContinues to Grow its Membership and Welcomes its Newest Member Association
  2. ACCASupports the Women of Europe Awards, Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  3. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  4. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  5. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First
  6. MIRAIA New Vision on Clean Tech: Balancing Energy Efficiency, Climate Change and Costs
  7. World VisionChildren Cannot Wait! 7 Priority Actions to Protect all Refugee and Migrant Children
  8. ANCI LazioRegio-Mob Project Delivers Analysis of Trasport and Mobility in Rome
  9. SDG Watch EuropeCivil Society Disappointed by the Commission's Plans for Sustainable Development Goals
  10. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhD Positions Open – The Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU (PLATO)
  11. Access NowTell the EU Council: Protect our Rights to Privacy and Security
  12. ACCAThe Future of Audit Means Adaption to Today’s Global and Digital World