European Assembly Elections Act 1978

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1978 c. 10


European AssemblyElections Act 1978

1978 CHAPTER 10

An Act to make provision for and in connection with the election of representatives to the Assembly of the European Communities, and to prevent any treaty providing for any increase in the powers of the Assembly from being ratified by the United Kingdom unless approved by Act of Parliament.

[5th May 1978]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

S-1 Election of representatives to the European Assembly.

1 Election of representatives to the European Assembly.

1. The representatives of the people of the United Kingdom in the Assembly of the European Communities (in this Act referred to as ‘the Assembly’) shall be elected in accordance with this Act.

S-2 Number of representatives.

2 Number of representatives.

2. The number of representatives to the Assembly to be elected in the United Kingdom shall be 81; and of those representatives—

a ) 66 shall be elected in England
b ) 8 shall be elected in Scotland
c ) 4 shall be elected in Wales; and
d ) 3 shall be elected in Northern Ireland.
S-3 Method of election.

3 Method of election.

3. Assembly elections shall be held and conducted in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 1 to this Act (with Schedule 2) under the simple majority system (for Great Britain) and the single transferable vote system (for Northern Ireland).

S-4 Double voting.

4 Double voting.

(1) Without prejudice to any enactment relating to voting offences as applied by regulations under this Act to elections of representatives to the Assembly held in the United Kingdom, a person shall be guilty of an offence if, on any occasion when under Article 9 elections to the Assembly are held in all the member States, he votes otherwise than as a proxy more than once in those elections, whether in the United Kingdom or elsewhere.

(2) The provisions of the Representation of the People Act 1949 of that Act (double voting); and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing provision, section 48(7) of that Act (which makes such an offence an illegal practice but allows any incapacity resulting from conviction to be mitigated by the convicting court) and section 155 of that Act (prosecutions for offences committed outside the United Kingdom) shall apply accordingly.

S-5 Exemption from jury service.

5 Exemption from jury service.

(1) In Part III of Schedule 1 to the Juries Act 1974 (excusal of certain persons from jury service in England and Wales) and in Schedule 2 to the Juries (Northern Ireland) Order 1974 (exemptions from jury service in Northern Ireland), before the heading ‘The Forces’ there shall be inserted the following:

European Assembly

‘European Assembly

Representatives to the Assembly of the European Communities.’.

(2) A person who is a representative to the Assembly shall not be liable to serve on any jury in Scotland.

S-6 Parliamentary approval of treaties increasing Assembly's powers.

6 Parliamentary approval of treaties increasing Assembly's powers.

(1) No treaty which provides for any increase in the powers of the Assembly shall be ratified by the United Kingdom unless it has been approved by an Act of Parliament.

(2) In this section ‘treaty’ includes any international agreement, and any protocol or annex to a treaty or international agreement.

S-7 Expenses.

7 Expenses.

(1) There shall be charged on, and paid out of, the Consolidated Fund

(a ) such reasonable charges as returning officers are by virtue of this Act entitled to in connection with Assembly elections; and

(b ) any increase attributable to this Act in the sums charged on and payable out of that Fund under any other enactment.

(2) There shall be paid out of money provided by Parliament—

(a ) any additional sums payable by way of rate support grant because of an increase attributable to this Act in the registration expenses of registration officers in Great Britain;

(b ) any increase so attributable in the sums payable out of money so provided under section 43(2) of the Representation of the People Act 1949 on account of the registration expenses of registration officers in Northern Ireland; and

(c ) any increase so attributable in the sums payable out of money so provided under the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act 1949 .

S-8 Interpretation.

8 Interpretation.

(1) The provisions of this Act, except section 4, apply only in relation to representatives to the Assembly who fall to be elected in the United Kingdom; and references in this Act (except section 4) to elections to the Assembly shall be construed accordingly.

(2) In this Act—

(a ) any reference to a numbered Article is a reference to the Article so numbered of the Act concerning the election of the representatives of the Assembly by direct universal suffrage annexed to the decision of the Council of the European Communities dated the 20th September 1976, and any reference to a numbered subdivision of a numbered Article shall be construed accordingly;

(b ) ‘enactment’ includes an enactment contained in an Act of the Parliament of Northern Ireland or an Order in Council made under the Northern Ireland (Temporary Provisions) Act 1972 , or in a Measure of the Northern Ireland Assembly.

(3) Except where the context otherwise requires, any reference in this Act to an enactment is a reference to that enactment as amended, and includes a reference to it as applied, by or under any other enactment, including this Act.

S-9 Citation etc.

9 Citation etc.

(1) This Act may be cited as the European Assembly Elections Act 1978.

(2) Any power to make orders or regulations conferred by this Act shall be exercisable by statutory instrument; and any power to make an order under any provision of this Act includes power to vary or revoke a previous order made under that provision.

S C H E D U L E S

SCHEDULE 1

Simple Majority System (for Great Britain) withS.T.V. (for Northern Ireland )

Assembly constituencies

SCH-1.1

1.

(1) Representatives to the Assembly shall be elected in Great Britain for the Assembly constituencies for the time being specified in an Order in Council under Schedule 2 to this Act, and in Northern Ireland for a single Assembly constituency comprising the whole of Northern Ireland; and there shall be—

(a ) one representative for each such constituency in Great Britain; and

(b ) three representatives for the Assembly constituency of Northern Ireland.

(2) There shall be a total of 79 Assembly constituencies, of which—

(a ) 66 shall be in England;

(b ) 8 shall be in Scotland;

(c ) 4 shall be in Wales;

(d ) 1 shall be that of Northern Ireland.

Assembly elections

Assembly elections

SCH-1.2

2.

(1) The persons entitled to vote as electors at an Assembly election in any particular Assembly constituency shall be—

(a ) those who, on the day appointed under paragraph 3 below for the election, would be entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary election in a parliamentary constituency wholly or partly comprised in the Assembly constituency (excluding any person not registered in the register of parliamentary electors at an address within the Assembly constituency); and

(b ) peers who, on that day, would be entitled to vote at a local government election in an electoral area wholly or partly comprised in the Assembly constituency (excluding any peer not registered at an address within the Assembly constituency for the purposes of local government elections).

(2) In an Assembly election in the constituency of Northern Ireland each vote shall be a single transferable vote, that is to say a vote—

(a ) capable of being given so as to indicate the voter's order of preference for the candidates for election as representatives for the constituency; and

(b )...

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