THE North-East has had its say in the European elections as Britain headed to the polls yesterday.

The Conservative and Labour parties are predicted to suffer severe losses, with the Liberal Democrats and the Brexit Party likely to hoover up votes.

Across the European Union, 751 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) will be elected, using a form of proportional representation called the D’Hondt system. Results will not be announced until Sunday evening when the last polling station on the continent closes.

Seventy-three of those MEPs will represent the UK with England is split into nine regions, including the North-East, which has three MEPs – the same number as Northern Ireland, but seven fewer than South-East England and five fewer than the North-West.

The ballot presented to voters yesterday in the region included candidates from Change UK – The Independent Group, the Conservative and Unionist Party, Green Party, Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, The Brexit Party and the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

A healthy turnout is expected for the EU elections, with residents in Darlington visiting their nearest polling stations to cast their votes.

David Thompson, 42, voted in the town last night and said he had been pleased to see other members of the public “using their voice”.

He said: “I think it’s really important for everyone eligible to vote to do it, especially with Brexit coming up.

“I think a lot of people are really fed up of hearing about politics now, but it’s probably more important than ever that people actually do come out and do something about it.

“A few of my colleagues were saying how they weren’t going to bother with the vote and I think some people will think it’s a waste of time.”

He added: “I’ve voted for the Green Party because I think the Tories are too tied up with themselves to know what to do next.”

When Britain does finally leave the EU, the European Parliament will reduce from 751 MEPs to 705, with 27 of the UK’s 73 seats distributed among the remaining member states.

Fellow voter, Brian Williams, 60, said: “You have to vote. I’ve always voted Labour and I will do now. I just hope someone does something about the mess the country is in.”

Downing Street conceded on Wednesday night that they expected a “very challenging” period when the results are made public.

Theresa May had hoped cross-party Brexit talks would deliver a compromise deal in time to allow her to call off the European Parliament elections.

However, more than a month after the talks began, her de facto deputy David Lidington acknowledged time was too tight to get a Withdrawal Agreement Bill through both Houses of Parliament by the date of the poll.

Some EU citizens living in the UK denied the chance to vote, with the Electoral Commission blaming “short notice” of the UK’s participation in the polls.

The European Parliament said errors could be corrected up to 9pm last night, so that names can be registered in time to vote.