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WW Update4,741 posts since 6 Feb 2007

Every country has their traditional voting days. It just happens to be the case that most European countries conduct their elections on a Sunday. Remember, Sunday evenings are when the results of the French & German presidential elections are usually called, because they traditionally vote on Sundays. The UK & Ireland are amongst a select number of outliers who vote on days other than Sunday. The UK has traditionally always been Thursdays, whilst Ireland has been Fridays.


True, but when it comes to European elections, every country is essentially a constituency (although five of them have multiple constituencies), and I can't think of too many elections in which various constituencies vote on different days. After all, if EU members can't even agree to hold pan-EU elections on the same day, what hope is there for "an ever closer union."

But I suspect this is a topic for another place and another time.


This is the thing. A supposedly single European Parliament election, is actually 28 separate country by country elections to that parliament. Just like in America, it's actually 50 seperate elections to the US Houses of Congress every 2 years, not just one national election.


Right, but even the U.S. manages to hold all those elections on the same day.
Rkolsen2,763 posts since 20 Jan 2014
BBC World News

True, but when it comes to European elections, every country is essentially a constituency (although five of them have multiple constituencies), and I can't think of too many elections in which various constituencies vote on different days. After all, if EU members can't even agree to hold pan-EU elections on the same day, what hope is there for "an ever closer union."

But I suspect this is a topic for another place and another time.


This is the thing. A supposedly single European Parliament election, is actually 28 separate country by country elections to that parliament. Just like in America, it's actually 50 seperate elections to the US Houses of Congress every 2 years, not just one national election.


Right, but even the U.S. manages to hold all those elections on the same day.


True, but the EU has 200 million more people than the US - specifically 512.6 million. They also have to deal with language barriers and different methods of voting. Most of the US uses digital or Scantron based voting systems where the total is counted as people voted. Where other developed countries may just use a piece of paper where you place a check mark or x on your choice.

Also, about half of the EU countries have populations smaller than the five boroughs of NYC. Four countries have populations less than Manhattan. California has more people than 22 countries.
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Inspector Sands13,690 posts since 25 Aug 2004
It still takes he US weeks to finish counting their votes though. The mid terms last year were still being counted a month later: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/06/politics/latest-house-vote-blue-wave/index.html which meant that the predicted 'blue wave' didn't happen in according to the narrative election coverage, but it turns out that it did once they actually counted everything.

The EU elections will be all wrapped up by Tuesday
Rkolsen2,763 posts since 20 Jan 2014
BBC World News
It still takes he US weeks to finish counting their votes though. The mid terms last year were still being counted a month later: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/06/politics/latest-house-vote-blue-wave/index.html which meant that the predicted 'blue wave' didn't happen in according to the narrative election coverage, but it turns out that it did once they actually counted everything.

The EU elections will be all wrapped up by Tuesday

In some contested elections yes. However the election night results are almost always the same as the final vote count.
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Pete9,031 posts since 18 Jun 2001
STV North Reporting Scotland
Sunday night 11pm


WHAT!!!? I've booked Friday 24th off work so I could watch through Thursday night!

It should be vote Thursday, results by Friday morning.

Thank God we're leaving this backward arrangement!


There's nothing backwards about it. We're the outliers because we vote on Thursdays. The votes are then kept uncounted so as not to affect the rest of the election.
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Inspector Sands13,690 posts since 25 Aug 2004
Yes, Sunday voting is the norm in most countries and its the more sensible day to do it - people are off work, no need to close schools etc. A lot of countries that do have weekday voting do it on public holidays. The US is the other major outlier, theirs are in Tuesday.

I don't think anyone knows why we do them on Thursdays and I'm pretty sure that until recently it was convention rather than mandated. No reason why we couldn't have the EU elections on a Sunday like everyone else
Stuart7,235 posts since 13 Oct 2003
Westcountry Spotlight
The choice of voting on Thursdays in the UK was made in 1913. Not everyone could vote anyway, so it didn't really matter which day was chosen.

Thursday was chosen because many of the electorate were assumed to be drunk on Fridays (when they were normally paid). Apparently we'd all be penniless and sober on Thursdays.
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Neil Jones5,337 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
The choice of voting on Thursdays in the UK was made in 1913. Not everyone could vote anyway, so it didn't really matter which day was chosen.

Thursday was chosen because many of the electorate were assumed to be drunk on Fridays (when they were normally paid). Apparently we'd all be penniless and sober on Thursdays.


Only local elections in England and Wales are apparently required to be held on a Thursday, as is a general election under Fixed Terms Parliaments Act. Everything else including By elections can be held any other day (in theory) but are traditionally Thursdays.
Markymark6,882 posts since 13 Dec 2004
Meridian (North) South Today
The choice of voting on Thursdays in the UK was made in 1913. Not everyone could vote anyway, so it didn't really matter which day was chosen.

Thursday was chosen because many of the electorate were assumed to be drunk on Fridays (when they were normally paid). Apparently we'd all be penniless and sober on Thursdays.


My dad always used to joke that it was Thursdays to avoid people staying in to watch Corrie
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JamesWorldNews7,934 posts since 22 Aug 2004
STV Central BBC World News
The choice of voting on Thursdays in the UK was made in 1913. Not everyone could vote anyway, so it didn't really matter which day was chosen.

Thursday was chosen because many of the electorate were assumed to be drunk on Fridays (when they were normally paid). Apparently we'd all be penniless and sober on Thursdays.



My dad always used to joke that it was Thursdays to avoid people staying in to watch Corrie


Hahaha. Well, if that were the current criteria, there would never be another election ever again in the UK! Corrie is practically daily, is it not?
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