Voting & elections
Voting and Elections
There are several types of elections that have an impact upon local government. These are:
- Local government elections (parish, district, county)
- Parliamentary (General) elections
- European Parliament elections
With any election you must be registered to vote.
In a local election, you vote for the councillors who run your local services. In Bolsover district, councillors are elected for a term of four years. There are thirty-seven councillors representing Bolsover district.
The way you vote for local councillors is similar to voting for Members of Parliament in a general election. The candidate who gets the most votes wins – this is called a 'first-past-the-post' voting system.
When you vote in a local election, the ballot paper will list all the candidates standing to be a councillor in your area. You may be asked to vote for more than one candidate, depending on where you live.
In a general election, every area in the country votes for one Member of Parliament (MP) to represent them in the House of Commons. There are 650 geographical areas, called constituencies. There is one MP for the Bolsover constituency.
Each eligible voter has one vote in their local constituency, and the candidate with the most votes becomes the MP for that area. This voting system is called 'first past the post'. Usually the political party with the most MPs then forms the government – though two or more parties with a combined majority of MPs may form a coalition government.
There has to be a general election at least every five years. The Prime Minister decides when to call an election. If an MP dies or resigns between elections, there is a by-election in their constituency.
Elections for the European Parliament take place every five years. The last European elections were in June 2009, and the next elections will be in June 2014. Since the 2009 elections there have been 72 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) representing the UK. The UK is divided into 12 regions, and each region has between three and ten MEPs. There are five Euro MP's for the East Midlands.
MEPs are elected under a proportional representation system. In Britain, you have one vote to elect all of your MEPs. Each party puts forward a list of candidates, called a regional list, and you vote for one of these lists or for an independent candidate. The parties are then allocated a number of MEPs according to their share of the vote.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 27 March 2013 14:59
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