European Parliament Elections
Great Britain and Northern Ireland have separate electoral systems for EP-elections. Great Britain elects 72 members to the European Parliament. The electoral system is based on proportional representation. Great Britain comprises 11 electoral districts for these elections. The d'Hondt electoral formula is utilized and there is no legal threshold. Party lists are closed and blocked, meaning that voters do not have any opportunity to express interests for any particular candidate. Prior to 1999 the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system applied in Great Britain. It was changed in order to make PR the common principle of all EU member states for EP elections.
For the purpose of the European Parliament elections Northern Ireland is treated as a single constituency. The electoral system is based on single transferable vote and voters thus directly votes for persons representing their country in the European Parliament. Three members are being returned as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). There is no legal threshold.
Election results 2009. National summary
The most notable outcomes of the EP elections of 2009 were the significant drop in support for the ruling Labour Party, which took just 15.31 percent of the vote (and 13 seats) - its worst result since World War II. The party came third behind the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which campaigns for Britain's withdrawal from the EU, which took 16.09 percent of the vote (13 seats). The Conservative Party was the overall winner with 27 percent of the votes (25 seats), while the Liberal Democrat party came fourth (11 seats). One of the significant results of the election was the success of the far-right British National Party (BNP), which gained two seats in Brussels - its first wins in national elections.