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Thu Apr 25, 2019, 06:40 AM

When, why and how: A guide to the European Elections

... the UK's extension to the Article 50 process means the country will have to go to the polls on May 23 to elect a new batch of MEPs.

The process is set to be a brutal one, with Remain buffeted by a series of factors which act against it. This contest is one that, thanks to various structural and electoral forces, is stacked against pro-Remain parties.

Here is what you need to know on why this vote is happening, how it works, what the tactics in play are, and what it all means for Brexit. And, as a spoiler warning, the best outcome is that it means as little as possible.



Tactical voting is a plan starting to gain some traction among some Remainers. But without formal coordination, under this system it is as likely to cost pro-Remain parties a seat (accidentally knocking a party just under a voting threshold, for example) as to gain them one. At this stage, people 
are better voting for the party they like best.


The pro-Brexit parties will try to frame this contest as a confirmation of the 2016 vote, as proof the public wanted Brexit then and still wants it now. Laying the groundwork against that, and refusing to take part in that narrative is perhaps the next thing the pro-Remain parties can do for their voters.


A decent primer for anyone not familiar with the dynamics of the D'Hondt system and its pitfalls, especially in what will be a most unusual election, assuming it does go ahead.

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Reply When, why and how: A guide to the European Elections (Original post)
Denzil_DC Apr 2019 OP
T_i_B May 2019 #1
LeftishBrit May 2019 #2

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue May 7, 2019, 04:13 PM

1. This is who's standing where I live...

In Yorkshire and Humber region

Brexit Party - I expect the vast majority of Brexshitters, and the OAP block vote in particular to go to this lot for these elections. The only people to send me a leaflet so far. Lead candidate John Longworth. (Formerly of the British Chamber of Commerce, now standing for election on a very anti-business agenda)

Change UK - The new pro-Remain party comprised of Blairites and moderate Tories jumping ship from the two main parties. Not sure how well they will do as I'm not sure if their campaigning will be any good at all. Lead candidate Diane Wallis (a former Lib Dem MEP who helped found the Yorkshire party. Her tweets are mostly bile towards the Lib Dems for not making her their lead candidate in spite of having spent the last few years with another party)

Conservatives - Expect many Tories to refuse to take part in the election campaign. You may even see a few Tories openly endorse the Brexit party. Lead candidate John Proctor MEP.

English Democrats - Another far right group pitching for ex BNP voters. Lead candidate David Allen (all the candidates from this lot appear to be from the same family!)

Green Party - The Greens impressed me a lot during the referendum. Pro-remain, and with many of their pet issues in the spotlight thanks to the Extinction Rebellion movement. Lead candidate Magid Magid (former Mayor of Sheffield and quite possibly the biggest showoff in politics. Still, I like a lot of what he did as mayor of my home town, including banning Donald Trump from visiting Sheffield.)

Labour - Labour people round here are quite demoralized following the local election results and incessant internal infighting. Labour's usual strategy at EU elections is to avoid talking about the EU wherever possible. That was the case when their EU policy was actually quite good and I don't expect that to change now that their EU is a steaming pile of crap. Lead candidate Richard Graham Corbett MEP. (a good candidate, but he's standing on a platform that nobody wants)

Liberal Democrats - The pro-remain party with the grassroots presence to make an impact. In the past I never considered the Lib Dems at EU elections as they were too unquestioningly pro-EU. But with British politics having taken leave of it's senses they have become attractive to staunch remainers like myself. Lead candidate Shaffaq Mohammed. (Leader of the Liberal Democrats on Sheffield council and an incredibly hard working campaigner.)

UK Independence Party - The party who always used to make a big impact at these elections. But following the referendum they were abandoned by Nigel Farage and a large chunk of their previous support, who will no doubt be moving en masse to the Brexit party. UKIP have since wandered into far right wannabe BNP territory. Lead candidate Mike Hookem MEP. (most well known for getting into a fist fight with another UKIP MEP at Strasbourg)

Yorkshire Party - As far as I can see, the Yorkshire party is like the Brexit Party and UKIP, only much more parochial. Lead candidate Chris Whitwood

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Tue May 7, 2019, 05:54 PM

2. South East, where I am

Brexit Party. Lead candidate - YES- His Nigelness himself! Since we have 4 Kipper-and-related MEPs out of 10 now, plus Daniel Hannan, I fear this party will do fairly well. But a good turnout may reduce their power.

Change UK: Moderates, and those just fed up with their party leaders. Strongly Remain. Lead candidate Richard Ashworth. Was a Tory; surprisingly reasonable; got deselected for being comparatively reasonable and not a fanatical Europhobe like Hannan. But the risk is that they could split the Remain vote.

Conservatives. A bit varied, but mostly Leavers, plus of course being, well, Tories. Lead candidate Daniel Hannan, 'nuff said!

Green: Strongly Remain. We had one Green MEP, Keith Taylor, who is apparently not standing again. There is some, limited Green tradition here; for a while Caroline Lucas was our MEP, and the sadly late Mike Woodin also active. Lead candidate Alexandra Phillips. 7th on the list (so no chance of actually winning) is Larry Sanders, brother of Bernie.

Labour: We had one Labour MEP, who is standing again as lead candidate. John Howarth, who is quite good and a Remainer, but may suffer due to people being fed up with all the dithering about Brexit in the Labour Party.

LibDem: Strongly Remain. We currently have the only LibDem MEP, Catherine Bearder, who is standing again as lead candidate.

Socialist Party of Great Britain. Far left; no MEPs; lead candidate Mandy Bruce.

UK European Union Party (UKEUP). Single-issue Remain party - I must say that, despite being active in the Remain movement, I hadn't heard of them; I think they're quite new. Lead candidate Pacelli Ndikumana.

UKIP: Well, of course! Only advantage to them is that they may take votes from the Brexit Party. Lead candidate Piers Wauchope.

Then three Independent candidates:

Michael Turberville (apparently pro-Remain and left of centre) and David Victor Round and Jason Guy Spencer McMahon - I know nil about either of the latter two!

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