European Elections 2019 in Abingdon

May 23, 2019

European Elections
Polling stations in Abingdon have been open for the second time this month. Three weeks ago they opened for the district and parish elections, and this Thursday it is the European elections, which were supposed not to happen as the UK should have left the European Union on 29th March 2019.

Abingdon is part of the South East of England and we were given the following choice of parties and Independents:
Change UK (10 candidates)
Conservative (10 candidates)
Green (10 Candidates)
Labour (10 Candidates)
Liberal Democrats (10 Candidates)
The Brexit Party (10 Candidates)
The Socialist Party of Great Britain (10 Candidates)
UK European Union Party (2 Candidates)
UKIP (10 Candidates)
Independent – Jason McMahon
Independent – David Round
Independent – Michael Jeffrey Turberville

We each had one vote.
European Elections
10 MEPs will be elected to represent the South East of the UK. MEPs are elected by proportional representation. The number of MEPs each party gets is calculated using a formula called d’Hondt after the Belgian mathematician Victor d’Hondt, who dreamed up the formula in 1878, long before the days of computers. According to Wikpedia….
After all the votes have been tallied, successive quotients are calculated for each party. The party with the largest quotient wins one seat, and its quotient is recalculated. This is repeated until the required number of seats is filled. The formula for the quotient 

quotient = V / (S + 1)

V is the total number of votes that party received, and
s is the number of seats that party has been allocated so far, initially 0 for all parties. 
European Elections
European elections do not usually enthuse people as much as national elections but on this occasion they are being treated by some people as a protest vote. In the UK there are two new parties. The Brexit Party has been created to allow people who voted Leave to show their discontent with parliament’s handling of Brexit. Change UK has been created by people in parliament to challenge the referendum result.

The UK should still leave the European Union (EU) on 31st October 2019. If the UK and EU ratify the withdrawal agreement before then, it would be earlier. So these elected MEPs could be in post for a very short time. But parliament has not managed to agree the withdrawal yet so it could be longer.
European Elections
Polling has finished and we will know the results on Sunday.

Filed under: politics

8 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. James Davis  |  May 24, 2019 at 9:41 am

    There was a third new party – UKEUP. I don’t know much about them.

  • 2. Daniel  |  May 24, 2019 at 10:48 am

    I genuinely do not understand this. And, if we were ‘too ill-informed to vote in a referendum’ then we are (or I certainly know I am) certainly still too ill-informed to make a sensible decision.

    This MEP election has nothing to do with BREXIT. How can it? No party or MEP elected can do anything about BREXIT if they get in. So why are we allowing ourselves to be hoodwinked by the meadya – again.

    If you voted here for a:
    Lib Dem – you are voting for the European Parliamentary group called The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (although not necessarily*)
    Labour – you are voting for the European Parliamentary group called The Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (although not necessarily*)
    Conservative – you are voting for the European Parliamentary group called The European Conservatives and Reformists Group (although not necessarily*)
    Change UK – too new a party so no one knows what European Parliamentary group they will sit with. They could form their own** or they could sit with any other group they choose.
    BREXIT – too new a party no one knows what European Parliamentary group they will sit with. It is assumed it will be the existing European Parliamentary group called the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (although not necessarily*), or they could form their own**
    UKIP – you are voting for the European Parliamentary group called the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group (although not necessarily*)
    Green (including regional parties eg Plaid Cymru or SNP) – you are voting for the European Parliamentary group called the Greens/European Free Alliance (although not necessarily*)
    Independent – Independent/Non attached MEPS

    Some things to bear in mind:
    • *The “although not necessarily” caveat is just that; just because UK XXX MEPs usually sit in a specific EU Parliamentary group; they don’t have to; they can affiliate with any group they wish. As in, an individual UK MEP can sit where they like, regardless of their UK political party; so not all XXX UK MEPs need to sit together. And YOU certainly can’t decide where they sit, they’ll sit where they like!
    • **If it is a ‘new’ UK party (Eg BREXIT party or CHANGE UK), then there is only an assumption (by our trusted meadya) that those MEPS (if elected) will sit in a like-minded EU Parliamentary party. But they certainly don’t have to (see above). They COULD form their own brand new and shiny EU Parliamentary group – but to do so they need to have at least 25 members…and those must be made up from at least a quarter of EU member states! Will, for example, Change UK be able to get 25 seats and so form a brand new EU parliamentary group made up of members from 7 of the 28 EU states? Will the BREXIT party? If not…then a vote for them seems a bit, err, pointless?

    Of course, you can Google any of the EU Parliamentary groups above to see what their policies are… But even if you do, there is no certainty that your chosen (and winning MEP) will affiliate with that group anyway!!

    And so, with all this in mind…the notion that this vote is in some way anything to do with “what the UK population thinks about BREXIT” may well be true; and is good for whipping up hysteria and selling newspapers or advertising on a website but is actually nothing to do with BREXIT; I assume the intelligencia know this?

    I didn’t look in to the manifestos of any of the EU Parliamentary groups (I assume the intelligencia did), and…this is why I chose not to vote.

  • 3. Janet  |  May 24, 2019 at 6:06 pm

    I beg to differ. Have you ever seen the videos on the exchanges in the European Parliament on You Tube? It is good to see Nigel Farage giving some home truths to the European Parliament. We need people who can give as good as they get and are not appeasers and who can stand up for the UK.

  • 4. Daniel  |  May 24, 2019 at 6:21 pm

    Janet, I am not sure what we are differing over. My rant was so long even I lost interest….what are we differing over?

  • 5. Horsesmouth  |  May 24, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Ah that’s a very good question Daniel? Could it be you’re differing over a difference in political party’s that once were very different but now that difference has been so diluted and eroded that it barely exists in its true meaning anymore?
    Cameron said vote for me and I’ll give you a vote on EU membership, we did and 17 million voted to leave the EU, he got it wrong and resigned-enter TM, she hadn’t a hope in hells chance if achieving anything because she had no majority the upshot of that was the dozen or so DUP members who offered to support her held the country to ransom, meanwhile the party faithful, Boris, Ledsome, Gove, Rabb, Hestletine etc were all plotting against TM and her d al even though none of them had a better alternative – result being the Tory party is in tatters!
    Next up Jeremy Corbin, the Hamas loving, anti Semitic communist who counts among his friends the despot Venezuelan dictator whose bled his country dry, and among his many unofficial overseas visits he counts laying a wreathe on the grave as a terrorist an act or rememberance and respect!
    Next up the Lib/Dems, sold down the river by nick clegg but since have worked hard to make a comeback- however how do they hope to succeed when by pledging their allegiance to revoking Brexit they are in effect ignoring the 17 million who voted to leave ( but then again so are the 399 or so MP’s who consistently went against the will of course he people?
    In a nutshell Daniel politics as we once knew it is finished, the Tory’s have, through infighting and bickering list the plot and are no longer a party to be trusted, electing Labours current leader would be akin to voting for Joe Stalin ( although someone like Hilary Benn as leader would storm an election, so that really only leaves the Lub/Dems who in their manifesto have declared to go against 17 million voters! Where does this all lead? Lord knows but one things for sure politics in this country will never be the same again and that’s probably a good thing? In the late g term?

  • 6. David  |  May 26, 2019 at 9:52 am

    You’re not voting for the parliamentary grouping. You’re voting for the manifesto of the party on the ballot paper (ideally tempered by an appropriate amount of scepticism about their actual aims, based on their public words and actions, since the manifesto is effectively a sales brochure).

    They may then determine that the best way to achieve those aims and manifesto pledges is to sit as part of one of the groupings, but any time they feel that’s no longer working out they can realign or sit independently.

    Voting for a party that’s not part of a grouping is no more pointless than voting for an independent candidate for your Council or MP (less so, in fact, since they stand a reasonable chance of getting elected). They’ll miss out on some resourcing and procedural benefits they’d get from being part of a group, but they still get an equal vote, and would be unencumbered by the necessary compromises involved in joining a grouping. Any parliamentary system involves this kind of balancing of compromise against principle.

  • 7. Daniel  |  May 26, 2019 at 11:35 am

    Thanks David, that’s a Useful explanation.

    However, i still don’t understand; let’s say I voted lib dem on Thursday because they really want to stop BREXIT. They get elected. That individual decides, on balance, to choose to sit in the EU Parliamentary group in my earlier post. How does that EU Parliamentary group have any say or sway on BREXIT?

    “I want to improve the flowers in Abingdon…so I’m going to sit with the Socialist Workers Party in Scunthorpe. “. One has no connection to the other…

    Or am I missing something?

    Ditto for a UKIP candidate or whatever…

  • 8. David  |  May 31, 2019 at 8:12 am

    Well, MEPs do have some influence over the Brexit process – they get to vote on whether to approve any deal, and they can influence things in other ways too (pro-leave members could use disrupting the parliament to make it look bad, and as a negotiating tactic; pro-remain members could work to achieve reforms which might make people feel more positive about the EU).

    In general though, you’re right – voting on the basis of your position on whether to stay or leave is fairly pointless, since this is largely something that will be handled at the national level. It should be on the basis of what they actually say they’ll do within the European Parliament.

    The same problem happens at local elections, with people tending to vote on the basis of their opinion of how parties are performing on national-level issues, over which the people they’re electing have little or no influence.

    This failure to distinguish between who has power over what (often deliberately encouraged by governments and other politicians) has also been a contributing factor in the Brexit vote happening in the first place, with ‘Europe ‘getting the blame for all kinds of things that were actually UK government choices.

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