THE countdown has begun to European parliamentary elections on Thursday, May 22.

More than five million people across north west England will have the opportunity to vote in European elections to select the region’s eight members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

Voters go to the polls on Thursday, May 22 and the north west European elections count and declaration will be on Sunday, May 25, as polls close across Europe.

People will not be able to vote in EU elections unless they have ensured they are on the electoral register by Tuesday, May 6.

Anyone who is on the electoral register can choose to register to vote by post. Applications for a postal vote in the forthcoming elections must also be received by 5pm on Wednesday, May 7.

Poll cards for those who are already on the electoral register are currently being posted, so people who are registered should look out for theirs in the post.

Anyone who is not registered can visit to request a registration form. Alternatively, if they need to update their details (for example if they have changed address or changed surname through marriage since registering) or check whether they are on the register, they should call 03001235016. Registration is a quick and easy process.

A full list of candidates for the European Parliamentary Elections will be published at 5pm on Thursday April 24.

Sir Howard Bernstein, Regional Returning Officer for the European Parliamentary Elections in the North West, said: "This election gives people the chance to elect the politicians who will represent them in Europe. It is essential to make sure that nobody loses out on their right to vote because they are not registered."

Mike Suarez, chief executive of Cheshire East Council and Returning Officer for the European elections, said: “It is absolutely vital to the democratic process across Europe that everyone should have the opportunity to vote. We would urge everyone to get involved and register their details so that they can have their say in the European Parliament.”