Voting in the European elections is under way in Brighton and Hove.
Tens of thousands of voters are expected to go to the polls to choose ten Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the elections taking place today (Thursday 22 May).
Polling stations opened at 7am and close at 10pm this evening.
The results are due to be declared on Sunday (25 May) which is the day when most other European Union member states hold their elections.
Brighton and Hove is part of the South East England constituency which stretches from Kent to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and up to Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. The constituency does not include London.
Fifteen parties have put up 118 candidates under the party list system. If a party wins enough votes to gain a seat, it goes to the first candidate on the party list.
Last time more than 62,000 voters in Brighton and Hove – or 33 per cent of the electorate – turned out. This was below the 37.5 per cent average turnout for the constituency.
Locally the Green Party topped the poll, the Conservatives came second and Labour third.
Seven of the sitting MEPs in South East England are standing again, with three retiring. Those standing down are James Elles, one of the constituency’s five Conservative MEPs, Sharon Bowles, one of the two Liberal Democrats, and the only Labour MEP Peter Skinner.
The candidates from the parties already represented in the constituency and with Brighton and Hove addresses are
- Keith Richard Taylor, of Islingword Street, Brighton, the sitting Green MEP who took over the seat from Caroline Lucas when she was elected to Parliament in 2010. He is the top candidate out of the ten on the Green Party list.
- Alexandra Louise Rosenfield Phillips, of Henley Road, Brighton, is a Green member of Brighton and Hove City Council and a former aide to Caroline Lucas when she was an MEP. She is second on the Green Party list.
- Jason Paul Kitcat, of Carden Hill, Brighton, is the Green leader of Brighton and Hove City Council. He is number four on the Green Party list, up from fifth in 2009.
- Ray Cunningham, of Westbourne Street, Hove, is number ten on the Green Party list of ten candidates.
- Tracey Hill, of Hollingdean Terrace, Brighton, is number ten on the Labour Party list of ten candidates.
Fellow Labour candidate Emily Westley, of Lewis Road, St Leonards, is a Sussex University graduate and third on her party’s list.
UK Indpendence Party (UKIP) candidate Ray Finch, of Milford Close, Havant, used to work in Portslade. He is fourth on his party’s list. Donna Edmunds, of Barcombe Mills Road, Barcombe, is fifth on the UKIP list. Nigel Jones, of Talbot Terrace, Lewes, is seventh.
And Paul Godfrey, of High Bank, Pyecombe, is number three on the list for An Independence from Europe.
Apart from former Brighton councillor Keith Taylor, the other sitting MEPs who are standing again are
- Dan Hannan, of Willesley Warren, Overton, Basingstoke, is the first candidate on the Conservative Party list.
- Nirj Deva, of Gilbert Road, Lambeth, London, is the second candidate on the Conservative Party list.
- Richard James Ashworth, of Church Road, Lingfield, Surrey, is the third candidate on the Conservative Party list.
- Marta Andreasen, of Bonser Road, Twickenham, is the fourth candidate on the Conservative Party list.
- Catherine Bearder, of Stanley Road, Oxford, is first on the Lib Dem list.
- Nigel Farage, of Darwin Villas, Single Street, Berrys Green, Westerham, Kent, is first on the UKIP list.