Elections are a democratic process conducted strictly in accordance with statutory criteria.
The city has responsibility for the conduct of the following elections:
All elections are conducted within a statutory timetable.
European Parliamentary election
Members are elected to the European Parliament on a fixed five year term of office. Southampton is part of the South East Region which currently elects 10 members under a proportional representation voting system.
There are three parliamentary constituencies within the city boundary. Southampton Itchen, Southampton Test and Romsey and Southampton North. However the Romsey and Southampton North constituency is made up of electors from the Bassett and Swaythling wards of the city of Southampton and the borough of Test Valley. Members of Parliament are elected to Parliament for a five year period. However, the Government may hold the Parliamentary Election at any time within the five year period, upon dissolution of Parliament. There is one representative per constituency.
City council election
There are 16 wards in Southampton, each represented by three Councillors. Elections in Southampton are by thirds, and are traditionally held on the first Thursday in May. Councillors are elected for a four-year term and one councillor per ward retires each year, there are no elections in the fourth year.
The city council or central Government can organise referenda on a variety of issues. The last national referendum was in 1976 when the UK tested public opinion on joining the Common Market. More recently electors in London voted in a referendum on the issue of elected mayors.
If an elected member is no longer available to represent the electorate, a by-election can be called at any time for all types of election. The statutory time table for the conduct of by-elections is the same as the timetable used for the main election.
By-Elections can be caused through:
• Death of a councillor
• Moving out of the area
• Change of employment