European Parliamentary election on 23rd May 2019 Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

European Parliament elections 2019

The European Parliament Election is fast approaching. However, there has been minimal canvassing from the candidates hoping to represent the East of England.

Seven MEPs will be elected to represent our region. Voters have the choice of nine parties, who have put up a total of 54 candidates.

Thankfully, not all the candidates are listed on the ballot paper. Voters only have to choose the party or independent they want to win.

The MEPS will be elected by proportional representation, in order as listed by their party. The number of MEPs each party gets is calculated using a formula called d’Hondt. This method, after the first round of counting, isn’t as easy to follow as the ‘first past the post’ system used to elect our MPs.

In the first round, the party with the most votes wins a seat. The candidate elected is the first one listed on the winning party’s list of candidates.

The winning party’s vote from the first round is divided by two for the second round. Whichever party comes out on top in the re-ordered results wins a seat for their top candidate.

The process repeats itself, the original vote of the winning party in each round being divided by one plus their running total of MEPs. Until all the seats for the region have been taken.

An example is shown here.

Because of the wide choice of parties and the lack of information provided so far, the Cranfield and Marston Vale Chronicle sent the same basic question to each campaigning party:

Please can you explain why the voters in Cranfield and Marston Vale should consider voting for you?

This simple question received a mixed result. It was ignored by the Conservatives, UKIP, Change UK and the Green Parties. Others sent a brief email statement, while the Brexit Party and the LibDems arranged interviews with the Chronicle. The interviews with the Brexit Party and the LibDems are on other pages. As is the a short statement from the Independent candidate.

This article summaries the brief responses from Labour and the English Democrats.

Labour Party

Alex Mayer is a Labour Party MEP for the East of England region. She took up the post in November 2016 following the resignation of Richard Howitt. She said:

“I am pleased to head up a strong team of Labour candidates. Labour is fighting to end austerity, invest in communities, protect our public services, and ensure those with the broadest shoulders pay their fair share.
“As your Labour MEP, I have a track record of fighting for Bedfordshire in the European Parliament.
“I have voted for local investment, to ensure big companies don’t dodge tax and to improve working conditions for people on zero hours contracts.
“I have spoken out in the European Parliament chamber about the Bedfordshire rail access campaign, violent crime in Bedfordshire and in fact my maiden speech was about a visit I made to Cranfield University.
“I’m a Remainer but this election isn’t about Leave or Remain, it is about who represents you in the European Parliament for as long as Britain is a member of the EU.”

English Democrats

Robin Tilbrook email stated:

“The English Democrats are the only English nationalist party and we are for a fully independent nation state.
“We are the only party who is actually doing anything practical that could make Brexit a realty by bringing Judicial Review proceedings to get the High Court to Declare that we left on the 29th March.
“It’s about our case that the retired Lord Justice of Appeal, Sir Richard Aitkins, has commented that it is “strongly arguable!”

The list of parties standing for election for the East Region:

  • Change UK
  • Conservative Party
  • English Democrats
  • Green Party
  • Labour Party
  • Liberal Democrats
  • The Brexit Party
  • UKIP
  • Independent Attila Csordas