The UK's electorate is bigger than that of 24 of the EU27 countries

There are more UK voters than in more than half the EU27 countries COMBINED

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2024

Facts4EU.Org compares the EU’s elections on Friday with the UK’s general election on 04 July

This report helps to put the EU27 into perspective. Over the years we have attempted to correct the impression that parts of the media have presented to the British public, of the EU as 27 broadly equal countries with an equal vote in the EU Council. As we have shown before, these countries are wildly different – in the size of their economies, their average earnings per person, and many other measures.

With the EU elections starting on Friday and the UK general election four weeks later, we present the sizes of each of the EU27 countries’ electorates compared to the UK. We then explain why this should matter to the British people.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The UK’s electorate compared to those of the EU27 countries

  • Germany : 65,110,000
  • France : 50,693,220
  • Italy : 47,340,098
  • UK : 47,074,800
  • Spain : 38,087,379
  • Poland : 32,148,844
  • Romania : 18,966,796
  • Netherlands : 13,300,000
  • Portugal : 10,901,968
  • Greece : 9,809,353
  • Belgium : 8,537,902
  • Czechia : 8,460,857
  • Sweden : 7,950,000
  • Hungary : 7,822,316
  • Austria : 7,025,784
  • Bulgaria : 6,147,079
  • Finland : 4,563,118
  • Denmark : 4,525,302
  • Slovakia : 4,389,600
  • Croatia : 3,733,398
  • Ireland : 3,370,364
  • Lithuania : 2,823,559
  • Slovenia : 1,692,767
  • Latvia : 1,545,147
  • Estonia : 981,138
  • Cyprus : 684,893
  • Luxembourg : 489,030
  • Malta : 370,190

[Sources : EU Commission (Eurostat) 2024 | the UK’s Electoral Commission 2019.]

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org 2024 - click to enlarge

Why does it matter that most EU countries have electorates smaller than the UK’s?

It might be thought that the answer to this is self-evident. However this is not clear to large parts of the British public, thanks to the pro-EU parts of the UK’s media.

Each EU country has an equal vote in the EU Council on many important issues. It is possible for a country with an electorate smaller than that of most UK cities to exercise a veto on important decisions.

The reality is even more extreme than that presented above

The UK Electoral Commission has not yet revealed the size of the UK electorate for the general election on 04 July. We have used the figure for the UK’s electorate in the 2019 general election. This figure is therefore understated.

To give a comparison, when it comes to first-time voters (persons who have reached voting age since the last EU elections in 2019), the highest numbers are expected in Germany (an extra 5.1 million persons), France (4.5 million) and Italy (2.8 million). The highest shares of first-time voters are expected in Belgium, France and Cyprus with 9.8%, 9.0% and 8.7% of all eligible voters, respectively.

Assuming the UK also has an electorate some millions higher than that in 2019, our figures in the chart above are very (small ‘c’) conservative.


For the last eight years we have attempted to present the reality of the EU to the British public in many different ways. Today, with elections looming in the EU and in the UK, it seems like an appropriate time to draw the public’s attention to the gross imbalance in the weight of the electorates of most EU countries compared to the United Kingdom.

This matters, as we have pointed out in our report, because of the ability of a country whose electorate is no larger than the size of an average UK city to hold a veto over important policy decisions by EU governments representing electorates many times larger.

The EU suffers from structural democratic deficits. The answer to this is simple. The EU should simply be a trading bloc. As this is never going to happen any time soon, this is yet another example of why the British people were right in 2016 to deliver their vote to leave the European Union.

We must get reports like this out there

Reports like the one above take far longer to research, write and produce than many people realise. If they were easy, readers would see other organisations also producing these daily. However, there’s little point in the Facts4EU.Org team working long hours, seven days-a-week, if we lack the resources to promote them effectively – to the public, to MPs, and to the media. This is where you come in, dear reader.

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[ Sources: EU Commission | UK Electoral Commission ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Wed 05 Jun 2024

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