Voting in the EU Elections

EU FLAGLooks like the UK will be holding EU elections in May. This makes voting a bit more confusing because Finns in Britain can choose to vote either from Finnish or British lists. Here’s a summary of the different options and key dates.

Voting for a British candidate

Here’s what you need to do:

  1.  Register to vote by 7 May, if you haven’t already done that. You can do it on the government’s website.
  2. Download and fill the European Parliament voter registration form and send it to your Local Electoral Registration Office, also by 7 May.
  3. Vote. EU elections are currently scheduled to take place on 23 May in the UK.

More info on voting in the EU elections in the UK can be found from Your Vote Matters website.

Voting for a Finnish candidate

If you’d rather vote for a Finnish MEP there are two options on how to do that in Scotland:

1) Postal voting

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Order the postal voting material from the website.
  2. Vote.
  3. Send the material back. It has to arrive to your central election committee by 24 May so order the material as soon as possible.

More info about postal voting can be found from the website.

2) Advance voting

In Scotland advance voting takes place on Saturday 18 May in Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Both polling stations are open from 10am to 3pm. The addresses are:

Rox Hotel
Boardroom, 17 Market St., Aberdeen AB11 5PY
Phone: +44 (0)122 421 2224

Athens Suite, 90 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh EH12 5LQ
Phone: +44 (0)131 474 3456

At the polling station you have to present your passport or other formal ID. More info can be found from the website of the Embassy of Finland in London.

Why vote at all?

To find motivation for why vote in the EU elections, have a look at the European Parliament’s website What EU Does for Me. If you want to know more about the European Union and voting, is also a good website to look at.

Right now it is important that we get good MEPs from pro-European parties to represent Scotland in Brussels, so it might be wise to vote from the British list.

On the other hand, according to the latest eurobarometer, majority of Finnish voters think that tackling climate change should be the most important theme in the EU elections. Therefore voting for a climate friendly candidate from Finland might be a good choice too. This is especially important now when Finland will soon hold the presidency of the Council of the EU and should have some influence on which issues are going to be on the EU’s agenda.

In both countries the deadline for the political parties to officially publish their lists of candidates is 25 April.