European Election 2019: Counting in Northern Ireland underway

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

Counting to elect three Northern Ireland MEPs to the European Parliament is underway.

Voters went to the polls on Thursday 23 May, but election rules meant that ballot boxes could not be opened until voting finished right across the EU.

The seats were previously held by the DUP, Sinn Féin and the Ulster Unionist Party.

MEPs are elected by the Single Transferable Vote system.

Who is standing?

  • 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)

How many people voted?

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% 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%.

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

When will results be declared?

Counting is due to begin at 8am on Monday, with the first result expected to be declared later in the day.

Fourteen-hundred ballot boxes arrived at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt on Friday ahead the count.

  • WATCH: UTV's special European Election programme from 4pm

Counting has begun in the race for Northern Ireland's three European Parliament seats. Credit: Presseye