Seven members of the European Parliament are elected from Estonia. Political parties and independent candidates can participate in the elections. At the elections to the European Parliament, Estonia forms one national electoral district.
Mandates are distributed nationally, using the d'Hondt distribution method with the distribution series of 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Unlike the Riigikogu elections, there is no electoral threshold at the European Parliament elections, because there is no need for it as the number of mandates is small. An independent candidate participates in the distribution of mandates like a list of a political party with one candidate.
The manner of distribution
When distributing mandates according to the D’Hondt distribution method, comparative figures are first calculated for each political party, and the number of comparative figures corresponds to the number of candidates in list of the party. The comparative figures are obtained when the number of votes for a political party is divided by each element of the distribution series.
Next, the comparative figures of parties and independent candidates are compared. A mandate is given to the political party or independent candidate whose comparative figure is higher, the next mandate goes to the political party or independent candidate with the second highest comparative figure, etc. In such a way, all mandates are distributed.
Example (on the basis of seven mandates):
Seven mandates are distributed between two political parties and one independent candidate.
Political party A: The number of votes – 300,000
Political Party B: The number of votes – 270,000
Independent candidate: the number of votes – 95,000
The seven mandates are thus distributed as follows:
Who will be elected?
Open lists are used at the European Parliament elections. The candidates are re-ranked in the list of the political party according to the number of votes cast for each candidate. In the re-ranked list of the political party, the mandate is given to the candidate who is further towards the top of the list.