Fewer than two in five North Herts voters turned up for last EU election
PUBLISHED: 12:01 26 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:27 31 May 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
Last time the residents of North Hertfordshire had the opportunity to vote in EU elections, fewer than two in five potential voters turned up to their local polling station.
But with new parties competing for votes this week - and renewed focus on European politics following the fallout from the Brexit - negotiations, turnout and results are likely to differ significantly this time round.
Back in 2014, just 36,846 people submitted a valid vote in North Hertfordshire on May 22, the last time elections for the European Parliament were held.
It was only 37 per cent of the people on the electoral role - amid the lowest turnout in a national election across the UK for a decade.
The largest share of the vote, 33 per cent, went to the Conservatives. UKIP had 27 per cent and Labour 19 per cent, coming second and third in the area respectively.
Across the East of England electoral region, UKIP topped the polls, with 34 per cent of the vote, meaning the region sent three MEPs from the party to Brussels.
The remaining votes meant three Conservative MEPs and one Labour were also returned to the European Parliament by the East of England's electorate.
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Turnout was much higher for the referendum on the UK's membership of the EU two years later.
The 2016 referendum saw 78 per cent of North Hertfordshire's electorate cast a vote, with 54 per cent of them in favour of remaining in the EU.
Prime Minister Theresa May had been negotiating the country's exit from the EU, but had struggled to gain the support of the House of Commons.
She will step down from her position on June 7.
This week, 73 MEPs will be elected in the UK across 12 electoral regions: Eastern, East Midlands, London, Northern Ireland, North East, North West, Scotland, South East, South West, Wales, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.
Elections will also be taking place across the other 27 EU member states.
Overall, a total of 751 MEPs will be elected across the bloc to represent their regions in the European Parliament.
While the UK voted on Thursday, some EU countries did not cast their ballots until Sunday.
Results from each country were not released until the evening of Sunday, after the last polling station on the continent closed.