1999 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom

The 1999 European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's part of the European Parliament election 1999. It was held on 10 June 1999. Following the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, it was the first European election to be held in the United Kingdom where the whole country used a system of proportional representation. In total, 87 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom across twelve new regional constituencies.

1999 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom

 1994 10 June 1999 2004 

All 87 seats of the United Kingdom's seats
in the European Parliament
Turnout24.0% (12.4%)[1]
  First party Second party Third party
Leader Edward McMillan-Scott Alan Donnelly Robert Teverson
Party Conservative Labour Liberal Democrats
Leader since 16 September 1997 1997 1994
Leader's seat Yorkshire and the Humber North East England South West England (defeated)
Last election 18 seats, 26.8% 62 seats, 42.6% 2 seats, 17%
Seats before 18 62 2
Seats won 36 29 10
Seat change 18 33 8
Popular vote 3,578,218 2,803,821 1,266,549
Percentage 33.5% 26.3% 11.9%
Swing 6.5% 16.4% 4.3%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
Leader Michael Holmes N/A[lower-alpha 1] Alex Salmond
Party UKIP Green SNP
Alliance N/A European Green Party European Free Alliance
Leader since September 1997 N/A 22 September 1990
Leader's seat N/A N/A N/A
Last election 0 seats, 1.0% 0 seats, 3.0% 2 seats, 3.1%
Seats before 0 0 2
Seats won 3 2 2
Seat change 3 2
Popular vote 696,057 568,236 268,528
Percentage 6.5 5.3 2.5
Swing 5.5 2.3% 0.6%

Colours denote the winning party, as shown in the main table of results

Leader of Largest Party before election

Tony Blair

Subsequent Leader of Largest Party

William Hague

The change in voting system resulted in significant changes in seats. The Conservatives won double the number of seats they had won in the previous European election, in 1994, while the Labour Party saw its seats reduced from 62 to 29. The Liberal Democrats saw their number of seats increase to 10 from just 2 in the previous election. The UK Independence Party (UKIP), Green Party and Plaid Cymru gained their first seats in the European Parliament.

The House of Commons Library calculated notional seat changes based on what the result would have been if the 1994 European elections had been held under proportional representation.[2] The notional results and seat changes are shown in the results box for this article.

It was the first European Parliament election to be held since the 1997 general election which resulted in a change of government from Conservative to Labour.

Turnout was 24%, the lowest of any member state in the 1999 election where the EU average was 49.51%. It was also the lowest of any European election in the United Kingdom, and the lowest of any member state until the 2009 election and to date is the lowest turnout for any national election in the history of the United Kingdom.[1]

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