THIS year's European elections were not meant to happen in the UK.

But in less the 24 hours residents will find out the names of the new 73 MEPs who will represent the country in Europe.

Counting is now under way, with the results expected to be announced after 10pm.

All the results for the South East region, within which Basingstoke falls, will be announced this evening.

The newly-elected MEPs could serve a very short term or even no term at all, as the UK may be leaving the EU before July 2, which is when MEPs will take up their seats.

Residents across the country voted on Thursday but the results will be kept secret until all voting is finished across Europe as counting will be done on a country-by-country basis.

The new 73 MEPs will be chosen in 12 multi-member regional constituencies, which are much bigger than the constituencies in which the country is broken down for General Elections.

Each region has a different number of MEPs based on its population and the South East region is represented by ten MEPs.

Independent candidates and candidates for Change UK, Conservative, Labour, Green, Liberal Democrats, The Brexit Party, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, UKIP and UK European Union Party all stood in the South East region.

MEPs will be elected by proportional representation in order as listed by their party, based on the parties’ total share of vote in each region.

The 10 MEPs who will represent the South East will not just cover Hampshire but a much wider area which includes Surrey, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Kent.