Third day of voting in European Elections
Today is the third day of voting in the European elections. On day one the United Kingdom and Netherlands voted; on day two it was the turn of Ireland and the Czech Republic.
Today will see voting in Latvia, Malta, Slovakia and the French Overseas Territories, as well as a second day of voting in the Czech Republic.
Tomorrow will see the final day of voting with 20 countries going to the polls.
The Latvian Information Agency reports that 6.81% voted early for the eight European Parliament (EP) seats in this Baltic country. Early voting was permitted between 21st and 23rd May.
Voters will be able to choose from 169 candidates representing 14 political parties today, but a party must get more than 5% of the vote to be ensured representation. All the major parties in Latvia are broadly pro-European, which has led to a relatively quiet election, although local opinion polls suggest that the eurosceptic Union of Greens and Farmers (ZZS) could pick up two of the eight national seats.
The prediction is for a turnout of around.40% and polling stations will be open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time.
The fight for the six national seats to the European Parliament is likely to be between the Labour Party and Nationalist Party once again, although there are seven political parties putting up 33 candidates.
Local opinion polls suggest that both parties will win three seats each, a net gain of one seat for the Nationalist Party, if the polls are correct.
Polling hours will be between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. local time.
Slovakia has the dubious distinction of having had the lowest turnout in the European Parliament elections in 2009 when just 19.64% of eligible voters turned out to vote.
Politicians will no doubt be hoping for a better turnout when Slovaks vote today for the 13 seats to the European Parliament. There are 29 political parties contesting the election and 320 candidates standing.
Local opinion polls suggest that the ruling Direction – Social Democracy (SMER) might win an extra seat today and that the Most–Híd party will get their first representation in the EP. Parties have to pass a 5% threshold to get representation.
FRENCH OVERSEAS TERRITORIES
The Atlantic section: Guadeloupe, Guyana, Martinique, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon; Indian Ocean section: Mayotte, Réunion; and Pacific section: New Caledonia, French Polynesia, Wallis and Futuna will all be voting today, a day earlier than the rest of France. They represent one constituency within the 74 seat representation France has in the European Parliament.