Politicians have criticised the government after EU citizens were unable to vote at the European elections on Thursday.

EU citizens who live in the UK had to fill out a form declaring they wanted to cast their vote in the UK - and had a deadline of May 7 to return the UC1 form.

On Thursday, there were reports nationally and locally of people being turned away from polling stations because they had not returned the form in time or were unaware they had to.

EU citizens had just less than a month to fill out the form after the government made a late announcement that the UK will be taking part in the European elections after a delay in Brexit.

Watford Borough Council, Three Rivers District Council, and Hertsmere Borough Council has said it sent out letters to all of its EU citizens on April 12 informing them they needed to register to vote.

Hertsmere says it had reports of seven people in the borough being unable to vote on Thursday. Of its 6,000 registered EU citizens, around 1,500 returned their forms in time. Watford has around 7,500 EU citizens and a source has suggested to the Watford Observer that 6,000 of those were unable to vote - either through choice or they were late or were unaware.

Watford Labour Party chairman Mike Jackson has criticised the registration form describing it as an "obstacle" and said the missing EU votes, who he says are likely to have voted for Labour or other remain parties, may have swung the vote towards the Brexit party.

Lib Dem deputy leader Jo Swinson has demanded the Electoral Commission launch an investigation and said it was "an outrage that so many people were denied the right to vote".

An Electoral Commission spokesman said: "We understand the frustration of some citizens of other EU Member States, resident in the UK, who have been finding they are unable to vote today when they wish to do so.

"All eligible EU citizens have the right to vote in the EU elections in their home member state. If an EU citizen instead chooses to vote in the EU election in the UK, there is a process for them to complete to essentially transfer their right to vote.

"This legal process could be made easier for citizens. However, improvements to the process are reliant on changes to electoral law, which can only be taken forward by Government and Parliament.

"The very short notice from the government of the UK’s participation in these elections impacted on the time available for awareness of this process amongst citizens, and for citizens to complete the process."

EU election results will be revealed on Sunday night after all votes have been cast across the continent.

The Observer and Times has asked the three named councils above for figures on how many of its EU citizens were registered to vote and how many were turned away from their polling station and hope to reveal these on Tuesday.