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  1. ITV Report

Northern Ireland voters go to the polls in European elections

A total of 1,278,951 people are eligible to vote in Northern Ireland. Credit: PA

Voters in Northern Ireland are going to the polls to return three MEPs to the European Parliament.

Polling stations opened at 7am and close at 10pm on Thursday night.

Unlike the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland’s MEPs are elected by the Single Transferable Vote system.

Votes will not be counted until the Monday 27 May as election rules mean that ballot boxes cannot be opened until voting has finished right across the EU.

In Northern Ireland eleven candidates will battle it out for the three seats.

List of candidates:

  • Jim Allister (TUV)
  • Martina Anderson (Sinn Féin)
  • Clare Bailey (Green Party)
  • Amandeep Bhogal (Conservative and Unionist Party)
  • Diane Dodds (DUP)
  • Colum Eastwood (SDLP)
  • Robert Hill (UKIP- Unionists for Brexit)
  • Danny Kennedy (Ulster Unionist Party)
  • Naomi Long (Alliance)
  • Neil McCann (Independent)
  • Jane Morrice (Independent)

Voting system:

The election is being conducted by Single Transferable Vote, a proportional representation system.

Every voter has only one vote, but they can ask for it to be transferred from one candidate to another to make sure it is not wasted.

On the ballot paper, mark a‘1’ against your first preferred candidate, a ‘2’ against your second preferred candidate and so on, for as many candidates as you wish.

Do not write anything else on the paper or your vote may not be counted.

What you need to vote:

Voters in Northern Ireland must have valid photographic ID.

You can vote at a local polling station, usually a nearby school or hall. You'll get a poll card before the election, telling you where and when to vote. You do not need a poll card to vote, it is for information purposes only.

The following forms of ID can be accepted at the polling station:

  • A UK, Irish or EEA driving licence (photographic part) (provisional accepted)
  • A UK, Irish or EU passport
  • An Electoral Identity Card
  • A Translink Senior Smart Pass
  • A Translink 60+ Smart Pass
  • A Translink War Disabled Smart Pass
  • A Translink Blind Person’s Smart Pass

The identification document does not need to be current, but the photograph must be of a good enough likeness to allow polling station staff to confirm your identity.

The doors to the polling station will be closed at 10pm. If at 10pm you are in the polling station, or in a queue outside the polling station, you can still apply for a ballot paper.