The Parliament is directly elected by the people of Europe once every five years. This gives the 751 MEPs a unique and powerful voice.
The Parliament legislates (alongside the Council), provides oversight of the Commission and, perhaps most significantly, approves the entire EU budget. The Parliament also reserves the right to veto trade deals, as occurred in the case of Anti–Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA). This power will be of huge significance in relation to the withdrawal agreement for the UK and any future free trade agreement between the EU and the UK. At the moment Scotland has six MEPs.
On 7 May 2019 the UK Government finally confirmed that elections for the European Parliament will be held in Scotland on 23 May 2019. A further six MEPs will be elected to represent Scotland.
MEPs are elected by a form of proportional representation. Voters get to choose which party they want to support and then the number of MEPs each party gets is calculated using a formula called d'Hondt.
Remember, you vote once, for the party on the list.
There are six MEP seats for Scotland, so each party has a list of six candidates and more or less of their candidates become MEPs depending on what proportion of the vote they receive. It works like this:
Round One: The party with the largest number of votes gets their first candidate elected.
Round Two: That party’s vote is divided by two (one plus the number of MEPs they already have). Another party’s top candidate is elected.
This is repeated electing other MEPs from other parties until the party which got their candidate in round one has the most votes again. Their second candidate on their list is then elected.
The process continues until all the seats are filled.
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