European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999

The European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999 (c.1) is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. The Act amended the procedures on European elections in the United Kingdom. It received Royal Assent on 14 January 1999, after the Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 had been invoked, as the House of Lords had rejected the bill six times, refusing to accept the change in the electoral system proposed. The Parliament Acts are rarely invoked, the European Parliamentary Elections Act was only the fifth statute since 1911 enacted under their provisions, and only the second since the Parliament Act 1949.[2]

European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999
Act of Parliament
Long titleAn Act to amend the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1978 so as to alter the method used in Great Britain for electing Members of the European Parliament to make other amendments of enactments relating to the election of Members of the European Parliament and for connected purposes.
Citation1999 c.1
Introduced byJack Straw[1]
Territorial extentUnited Kingdom
Royal assent14 January 1999
Repealed24 August 2002
Other legislation
RepealsEuropean Parliamentary Elections Act 1993
Repealed byEuropean Parliamentary Elections Act 2002
Status: Repealed
Text of statute as originally enacted

It was passed mainly to change the electoral system used for electing Member of the European Parliament (MEP)s from first past the post to a closed party list system in England, Scotland and Wales. The single transferable vote system was retained in Northern Ireland. The UK was divided into twelve electoral regions, nine in England (matching the regions of England) and one in Scotland, one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland. It did not change the number of MEPs elected from the UK.[citation needed]

The act led to a significant increase in the number of MEPs being returned from minor parties in the 1999 European elections, with more Liberal Democrats, along with the first European representatives for Plaid Cymru and the first national representatives for both the Green Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party.[citation needed]

See also


  1. "European Parliamentary Elections". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 321. House of Commons. 27 November 1998. col. 437.
  2. "Parliament Acts: Question". Parliamentary Debates (Hansard). 718. House of Lords. 8 April 2010. col. 462-463.