European elections 2019 explained: Who’s voting - and for WHAT? What is at stake?

The UK was granted a Brexit delay until October 31, meaning MEPs will take part in the European elections. There are 73 seats up for grabs for British MEPs. But they may not be in their role for long if the UK leaves the European Union this winter. 

Some EU officials have said it may be better to delay approving key post-election appointments until after British MEPs leave.

This is to avoid the UK saying parliament's decisions will lack legitimacy.

The British vote is predicted to favour eurosceptics, socialists and Greens but hurt the European People’s Party.

This has had no members in Britain since the Conservatives quit the group to form their own bloc.

By taking part in the elections, the UK has also forced the EU to postpone the redistribution of 27 of its 73 seats to other countries. 

France, for example, will elect 79 MEPs, which is five more than it has now, but five of them will not be able to take up their seats until after Britain leaves and Parliament shrinks by 46 members to 705.

Who is voting and for what? 

Around 400 million people in the European Union's 28 member states can vote in the elections.

This includes nearly 50 million British people who were supposed to leave the bloc in March. 

Europeans will elect 751 members to the European Parliament, which divides its time between Brussels and Strasbourg, by proportional representation.

What is at stake? 

Some of the campaign issues include spending, although the EU budget is equal to just one percent of member states' gross domestic product.

Climate change and labour rights are also expected to be brought up during the campaign.

YouGov carried out a poll for the Times, which involved questioning 1,755 people between April 16 and 17. 

This also showed the Brexit Party was ahead with 23 percent of the vote, while Labour was close behind on 22 percent, with the Conservatives third on 17 percent. 

UKIP was last with only six percent of voters saying they would vote for them.

Mr Farage tweeted his joy at the Brexit Party overtaking UKIP.

He wrote last week: “There is a long way to go, but it is clear there is a desire to change politics for good.”

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