European Parliament Election: Google search homepage marks EU poll with ballot box image
Google has marked polling day for the European Union elections, by posting a Doodle on its homepage.
The image shows Google’s usual multi-coloured font replaced with the gold and blue of the EU flag, with a ballot paper floating into a box which takes the place of the ‘g’.
In the UK, Eurosceptic party Ukip has largely sparked the most media attention in the run-up to the election - following a string of gaffes by its party members.
The final YouGov/Sun opinion poll on Wednesday evening showed that Ukip had 27 per cent of voter support, followed by Labour on 26 per cent with the Tories third on 22 per cent. The Greens were fourth on 10 per cent with the Lib Dems in a potentially humiliating fifth place on 9 per cent.
Thursday’s poll will be the eighth election to be held in the EU. Millions of citizens across the bloc’s 28 members states will be eligible to vote, although turnout has decreased year-on-year since its inception in 1979.
The EU was established after World War Two, with the aim of ending the conflicts that had plagued the continent since the beginning of the twentieth century.
In 1950, founding states Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and what was then known as West Germany, formed the European Coal and Steel Community.
By 1957, the Treaty of Rome saw the group become the European Economic Community (EEC) or the Common Market, with the aim of economically integrating the nations.
The bloc saw its first enlargement in 1973, when the UK, Denmark, and Ireland raise the number of members states to nine.
1993 saw the creation Single Market, and the ratification of the Maastrich Treaty. The document is much maligned by many Eurosceptics, because it allows the free movement of goods, services, people and money across the EU community.
These freedoms were bolstered by the Schengen agreement - allowing free movement on the continent and within the UK, eradicating the need for passports to be check at borders.
Greater unification came in the 21st century. In 2002, the Euro became the currency used in 18 member states, including France, Germany, and Belgium. The country to adopt the currency most recently was Latvia this year.
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