The first act of a new European Parliament is to elect its President. Candidates for the Presidency may be proposed either by a political group or by a minimum of 38 MEPs . The election is held by secret ballot. To be elected, a candidate must win an absolute majority of the valid votes cast, i.e. 50% plus one.
If no candidate is elected at the first ballot, the same or other candidates may be nominated for a second round of voting under the same conditions. This can be repeated at a third round if necessary, again with the same rules.
If no-one is elected at the third ballot, the two highest-scoring candidates in that round proceed to a fourth ballot, where the one receiving the greater number of votes wins. (Should there be a tie at this stage, the older candidate is declared the winner).