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  1. ITV Report

Northern Ireland turnout for European election down

All of Northern Ireland's votes in the European election will be counted in Magherafelt. Credit: UTV

The turnout of people in Northern Ireland who voted in this year’s European election is down by over 6%, according to the Electoral Office.

Just over 45 per cent of the population went to the polls on Thursday to return three MEPs to the European Parliament compared to 51.84% in 2014, a decrease of 6.7%

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Eleven candidates are in the running and unlike the rest of the UK, Northern Ireland’s MEPs are elected by the Single Transferable Vote system.

Votes will not be counted until Monday 27 May when voting has finished right across the EU.

Fourteen hundred ballot boxes have arrived at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt ahead the count.

Northern Ireland's Chief Electoral Officer Virginia McVea said: "They have moved through verification of the ballot boxes to make sure that what had been recorded on the ballot papers is what is contained within the ballot box before the count begins proper on Monday."