CHESHIRE East’s chief executive and returning officer, Mike Suarez, is urging people to exercise their democratic rights ahead of tomorrow’s European Parliament elections.

281 separate polling stations will open across the borough between 7am and 10pm today to allow the Borough’s 280,000 potential electors to cast their votes.

Mr Suarez said: “Holding elections in a Borough as big as Cheshire East is no small undertaking.

“We are, after all, by population one of the top three largest unitary local authorities in the North West, along with Manchester and Liverpool.

“Our team has made careful preparations to ensure the poll goes as smoothly as possible.”

“This is the final full election before next May’s General Election, which will also see local elections for the whole Council as well as parish council elections.

“In terms of organisation, everything is in place and my hope, as returning officer, is to see the biggest turnout possible. Don’t lose your right to vote.”

Eight seats are available, representing the North West region, and voters will get to choose from a list of candidates put forward by the various parties.

Across the UK as a whole, 73 MEPs will be returned to sit in the 754-member European Parliament.

Ballot papers will be counted after polls close on Thursday, but the final announcement of the result will not be made until Sunday night.

This is because some of the EU’s 28 member states vote on Saturday and Sunday.

Final results from across the North West will be announced at Manchester Town Hall on Sunday night, after the polls close across the rest of Europe.