1. ITV Report

North West MEPs to be elected tonight

The North West will tonight elect eight MEPs to sit in the European Parliament for the next five years. Votes are being counted at Manchester Town Hall and the first results are expected from 10:30pm onwards.

The Conservative Party currently has the most MEPs with three, Labour has two, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the British National Party all have one apiece.

Current MEPs in the North West ahead of tonight's results Credit: ITV Granada

Opinion polls nationally put UKIP on course to win the European Elections. There is very little polling data specifically for the North West, but Politics Professor Jon Tonge suggests Labour will fare much better in the region than they are predicted to do elsewhere.

In truth, Labour will see anything other than three elected MEPs in the region as a failure. For the Tories, they performed well last time out with an unpopular Gordon Brown in Number 10 at the tail end of 12 years of Labour rule. Now the governing party, they will expect to lose votes tonight but will hope to hang on to at least two of their three seats.

After another poor performance in Thursday's local elections, the Liberal Democrats are said to be preparing for a bad night.

The Liberal Democrats only MEP in the North West, Chris Davies Credit: Press Association

Their only MEP in the North West, Chris Davies, has come under pressure from the Green Party who have campaigned hard in the region to secure their first MEP here.

In 2009, at the last European Election, BNP leader Nick Griffin dominated the headlines nationally as he was elected in the North West.

BNP leader Nick Griffin Credit: Press Association

Polls suggest he will lose his seat tonight - the question is which party can mop up the majority of the 132,094 votes the BNP got last time.

More on this story