Simple Guide to the European Elections
Simple Guide to the European Elections
The sun is out, we’ve got a lovely long weekend ahead to look forward to and it must be at least a couple of weeks since our last election!
So why not spend a part of your day on Thursday voting in quite possibly the most pointless election in history.
Yes, its the European Elections tomorrow, probably much less interesting than the Eurovision voting last weekend and potentially not even the last election we’ll see in 2019 either!
So what’s it all about?
Brexit *groan* is still dragging on (will it ever end) so we are in the frankly ridiculous situation where we have to vote for our political representation in the EU and returning 73 Members of the European Parliament – this happens every 5 years.
Voters get to choose 73 MEPs in 12 Multi-member regional constituencies and each region has a different number of MEPs based on its population.
Here in Elmbridge we are in the ‘South East’ constituency and we have the envious task of electing 10 MEPs who are elected by proportional representation.
Current holders by party are: 4 UKIP, 3 Conservatives, 1 Labour, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Green
You have one vote to elect all of your MEPs. Each party puts forward a list of candidates called a ‘party list’ and you vote for one of these lists or for an independent candidate.
Essentially you have one vote and you cast this against one party rather than an individual candidate.
Results from across Europe are released on May 26th after the last polling station across the continent is closed.
Does it really matter?
Sort of, yes. Unfortunately.
I suspect those most likely to vote are people at either end of the Brexit debate.
So strong Leavers and strong Remainers. With those in the middle ground not really caring that much.
Whilst the new MEPs may only get to sit in their comfy seats, drink their expensive coffee (or gin) and claim their exorbitant expenses for a short while until Brexit happens…..
After all following the elections the European Parliament doesn’t sit again till the 2nd of July, only to break up again a few weeks later on the 25th of July before those poor overworked and underpaid MEPs have to report back to bar duty on September the 2nd (nice work if you can get it!)
But what happens if it doesn’t happen?
The 10 men and women voted to represent the South East constituencies interests in the European Parliament could be there for some time!
They will be shaping the UK’s position in Europe.
And (thanks to the 2016 referendum) Europe, and more specifically the EU, is now THE most important national political subject, not just across the dinner party tables of Islington, but in pubs, building sites, school gates and offices the length and breadth of the country.
Its these 10 names who will be instrumental in what happens in the next chapter of the EU.
If you’re a Remainer do you want Nigel Farage and his Brexit Party causing mayhem and representing you in the EU?
Equally as a Leaver watching on as Change UK’s Anna Soubry and Chuka Umunna vote to tie us ever closer should Brexit be indefinitely delayed?
This may be the biggest waste of time for all of us suffering from Election (and Brexit) fatigue.
But it might actually be really bloody important.
Who can you vote for?
10 groups have put forward party lists – see below for a short paragraph about the party campaign as well as a link on to each groups European Election manifesto for further reading.
The latest YouGov Poll shows the Brexit Party way ahead nationally with 37%, the LibDems second with 19%
Launched last month and led by Nigel Farage, from what I’ve found they aren’t publishing a manifesto until after the European Elections and have one policy:
“To demand the UK leaves the EU on World Trade Organisation terms”
“Let’s change politics for good.
As the leader of The Brexit Party, Nigel is ready for the political fight of his life after 25 years of campaigning to get Britain out of the EU.
The opportunity now is to change British politics for the better. Nigel is one of the most successful political leaders in modern British history “the engine is running” and he stood “ready for battle” to fight the Tories and Labour.”
“If there’s one thing the British public can agree it’s that our politics is broken. Change UK – The Independent Group formed after eight Members of Parliament left the Labour Party and three left the Conservative Party, deciding instead to work together to put the national interest ahead of party political advantage.
The two main parties have moved to the ideological fringes, and it’s our job to change politics and provide a better choice for the future. We’ve come together from across the parties to get things done based on evidence, not ideology.
These European Parliament elections offer the British people the chance to send a simple message: it’s time for change.”
“The UK voted to leave the European Union in the referendum three years ago, but Parliament has still not backed a deal to deliver on that. We didn’t want these elections but unless Parliament backs a deal before Thursday 23 May, the law says we need to take part in elections to the European Parliament on that date.
Should these elections go ahead, these will be the Conservative Party candidates. Voting for them will show you want a Brexit deal delivered as soon as possible.”
“We are full of excitement to be standing in these European elections.
This is a moment when we can restore hope, celebrate the potential that Europe has to improve all our futures, and start looking forward again.
We can seize this opportunity – with your help.
The Green Party has a comprehensive plan to put some joy back into our politics – to get us out of the Brexit mess, to stop climate change before it is too late and to rebuild our communities.”
“The Tories’ chaotic handling of Brexit has left our country in crisis. People’s jobs and industries are at risk.
After nearly three years of Conservative failure and botched negotiations, we now face these unexpected European elections.
Britain is divided as a nation, and some politicians view these elections as an opportunity to stoke those divisions. Labour is the only party trying to bring our country back together.”
“We will fight these elections on a clear message: a Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.
Across the country, the strength of our membership of 100,000 is being deployed to prepare for both the European elections and for council elections on May 2nd.
From local communities to the EU institutions, Liberal Democrats are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.”
The Socialist Party of Great Britain
The Socialist Party of Great Britain has candidates in the South East only.
UK European Union Party
“Standing for a kinder, gentler politics, we have one aim: to stop Brexit. With other mainstream parties embodying ‘business as usual’ or ‘more of the same’ – only the UK EU Party represents real change and an unequivocal commitment to remain.”
“Brexit is being betrayed – The Referendum decision of 23rd June 2016 and the 17.4 million people who voted Leave have been betrayed by the political class in Westminster.
Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration are a complete surrender. This means leaving the EU in name only – with the way wide open to going back in later.
Stop asking the European Union how we can leave and start telling them how we will leave.”
There are 3 Independent candidates:
Where Can You Vote?
You have to go to the correct Polling Station nominated on your Poll Card.
You can find the list of Polling Stations in Elmbridge here:
If you don’t live in Elmbridge check your local authority website – the polling stations should all be listed there.
Happy voting (again), as for me I’ll be more worried about the European result on June 1st.
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