And they're off! European voting starts

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Media captionBehind the scenes of the BBC's EU election coverage

The European election is already under way in the UK and the Netherlands. Ireland and the Czech Republic follow on Friday, but most of Europe will vote on Sunday, with initial results due that evening.

A quick reminder - all 28 member states use a proportional representation voting system. There will be 751 MEPs in the new European Parliament, representing more than 500 million citizens and they're allocated by population - so the UK will have 73, Germany 96 and France 74. The smallest countries such as Malta and Cyprus will have six MEPs each.

The BBC has established rules for election coverage - so for example there are restrictions on what we can say about exit polls before the full results are out on Sunday evening.

We will be on air from London, Brussels and various European capitals, with a special European Election results TV programme on Sunday 25 May, from 2100 BST (2000 GMT) on BBC News Channel and BBC World - continuing on BBC1 at 2300 BST.

Radio 4, 5 Live and BBC World Service radio will all air a special results programme from 2200 BST until the early hours of Monday morning.

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