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Brett-Butler
Given that it looks almost certain now that the United Kingdom is going to be taking part in the European Parliamentary elections on May 23rd, I thought that now is the time to open up a thread for the upcoming EU elections. This thread should be for discussion of the upcoming elections, with Brexit-based discussion remaining in the Brexit thread, although I'm sure there's going to be some overlap.

I'd be interested to hear the thoughts of members of Buzzjack who are outside the UK but within the EU on what the voting & atmosphere is like for the elections in your country, we've got some pan-European members, and I would very much would value your contributions.
Holly and Izzy
Good point. I've started the process of setting up a proxy vote.

If these elections do take place in the UK they will almost certainly be fought along Brexit lines and will likely have the highest turnout for an EU election. They're also PR which means no tactical voting!

So that means, in my opinion, there's very little reason to vote for a party not cemented on its Brexit strategy (like Labour). Assuming that these take place under the conditions of an extension, if you would like to ultimately Remain, you should vote Liberal Democrats or Green in England, and then Plaid or SNP in their respective areas. Not sure about NI.

Of course, one should also consider what the MEPs actually do, and we definitely should not reward those who take huge salaries and end up doing very little, like UKIP's MEPs. So if you must base your vote on Leave, vote Conservative I guess. Then, after you've evaluated whether the MEPs in your area are suitable people for the job, it depends which big political grouping you want to see take charge, although I'm sure it will very likely end up with EPP as the largest, which the UK can't do anything about, cheers Cameron.

I do love me some good electoral maths so I'm sure I'll end up following this closely even if the UK isn't taking part.
vidsanta
The only think that feels certain is a high vote for UKIP from pissed-off Leavers.
Holly and Izzy
Not necessarily. If any Leavers have been paying attention to what MEPs do, they'll know how ineffectual the UKIP ones are at engaging with the European Parliament. UKIP have really lost their way in credibility.

There's also Farage's new party, the Brexit Party, how well that does I suspect will depend on his charisma and how much the media makes them a viable option, but it does provide an alternative to those disillusioned by UKIP. And then Conservatives will also be courting Leave votes very heavily.

For which party gains the highest number of votes/MEPs I'd actually say it SEEMS like anyone's game.
Brett-Butler
The big story I imagine that will come out of these EU elections will be the much expected populist shift, with parties across Europe that had little or no representation in the prior parliament making significant gains, including Sweden Democrats, Afd in Germany, Lega in Italy, National Rally (and possibly En Marche!) in France, the Forum for Democracy in Netherlands (a party that didn't even exist 2 years ago, but won the 2019 provincial elections, taking the populist torch from Geert van Legohair's party), and Vox and Podemos in Spain, as well as populist movements in other, smaller countries. Interestingly, the only country that don't seem to have a populist party with a serious chance of winning seats is in the Republic of Ireland (although Peter Casey's result in the Irish Presidential election shows that even there, there is a market for populism).

As for the UK, it will be anyone's guess as to which party gains the most seats. Leavers could be drawn back to Ukip, which as I've mentioned before, has become a much more frightening beast since Batten took over. Nigel Farage's new party could get a few seats, and Remainers should be quietly hoping that he takes a bite out of Ukip's cherry (it is one of the strangest paradoxes in politics that the more popular Nigel Farage becomes, the greater the support for the EU). The European elections usually gives the chances of smaller parties their first opportunity to break through politically due to its PR system, as seen back in 2009 when the BNP won two seats, earning it a chair on that infamous edition of Question Time. This year (provided EU elections do happen in the EU), I can't see any parties having the same breakthrough, with the exception of the Brexit Party, and Change UK (although it will be interesting to see who they put up as election candidates - I wonder if any of their MPs will put their money where their mouth is in terms of their support of the EU by putting themselves forward for the lists at this election, and take their seats in the European Parliament if they win).

Overall, with the amount of fragmentation, I think that it will be Labour that ends up with the most seats, albeit there won't be much in it between them and some of the other parties.

In NI, it'll be the same 3 representatives - DUP, Sinn Fein & UUP.
Suedehead2
There tend to be a presumption against MPs also serving as MEPs (although there is no legal block), so I doubt any of the Chuka MPs will stand.
Brett-Butler
QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Apr 9 2019, 10:20 PM) *
There tend to be a presumption against MPs also serving as MEPs (although there is no legal block), so I doubt any of the Chuka MPs will stand.


My thinking is that in such a scenario, they would then resign their seat in the HoC in order to go to Brussels, therefore demonstrating their loyalty to the EU in the strongest possible terms.
vidsanta
QUOTE(Iz~ @ Apr 9 2019, 07:00 AM) *
Not necessarily. If any Leavers have been paying attention to what MEPs do, they'll know how ineffectual the UKIP ones are at engaging with the European Parliament. UKIP have really lost their way in credibility.

There's also Farage's new party, the Brexit Party, how well that does I suspect will depend on his charisma and how much the media makes them a viable option, but it does provide an alternative to those disillusioned by UKIP. And then Conservatives will also be courting Leave votes very heavily.

For which party gains the highest number of votes/MEPs I'd actually say it SEEMS like anyone's game.


IMO it'll be like any election other than a GE : low turnout, with voters merely treating it as an opinion poll, in which case I predict UKIP will do very well again.
ChristmaSteve201
I wonder if the generally public will be confused by the changes in UKIP over the past 5 years and how Farage has changed to the Brexit Party?
Brett-Butler
QUOTE(Steve201 @ Apr 10 2019, 11:18 PM) *
I wonder if the generally public will be confused by the changes in UKIP over the past 5 years and how Farage has changed to the Brexit Party?


Short answer - yes, and it is something that troubles me greatly. It will take some incredibly intelligent persuasion skills by someone with a national platform to get it through to the general public that a) Ukip of 2019 are not the same as the Ukip of 2014, and b) to not vote for them in spite of what they are now (because unfortunately, even if people are aware of the depths that Ukip have sunk under Batten, many will still vote for them regardless).

Unfortunately, I do not think there is a persuader with the requisite skills that can navigate those choppy waters.
ChristmaSteve201
It'll happen because people will inevitably think Farage is still the leader and they associate the party as the Brexit party. Or both parties could stop the other doing well.

Seen a poll today for the EU elections -

Labour 37%
Conservative 23%
Brexit Party 11%
Liberals 7%
Change UK 4%
UKIP 7%
Rooney
These Euro elections are going to be bloody important, don't vote Labour unless they come out with a clear stance on what type of Brexit they want.
vidsanta
QUOTE(Steve201 @ Apr 10 2019, 11:18 PM) *
I wonder if the generally public will be confused by the changes in UKIP over the past 5 years and how Farage has changed to the Brexit Party?


Most won't be - Leavers will still pick an anti-EU party to vote for, they won't much care which.
Pogueschartpeak
QUOTE(Rooney @ Apr 11 2019, 12:06 AM) *
These Euro elections are going to be bloody important, don't vote Labour unless they come out with a clear stance on what type of Brexit they want.


I won't be voting Labour after the shambles stances Corbyn has taken, the good news is PR votes count so everyone can actually vote FOR a party rather than AGAINST one to stop them winning.
vidsanta
QUOTE(Popchartfreak @ Apr 11 2019, 08:22 AM) *
I won't be voting Labour after the shambles stances Corbyn has taken, the good news is PR votes count so everyone can actually vote FOR a party rather than AGAINST one to stop them winning.


Although 'winning' isn't really a thing where the Euro's are concerned, because you gain nothing by finishing first.
Crazy Chris-tmas
I certainly won't be voting as a protest against the will of the people not being carried out. I may stand outside our polling station with a BREXIT placard.
Brett-Butler
QUOTE(Common Sense @ Apr 11 2019, 06:00 PM) *
I certainly won't be voting as a protest against the will of the people not being carried out. I may stand outside our polling station with a BREXIT placard.


I daresay many Remainers will thank you for your sacrifice. It will mean that their vote will count for more than it would if you were to vote yourself.
Brett-Butler
QUOTE(vidcapper @ Apr 11 2019, 03:06 PM) *
Although 'winning' isn't really a thing where the Euro's are concerned, because you gain nothing by finishing first.


I would disagree - even you mean that winning the most seats in the UK won't give a party in its own right a massive say in the EU Parliament on a Europe-wide basis, winning the most seats in the European Parliament elections in the UK would be a massive boost for the party that comes out 1st, both in PR terms and for supporters/activists in said party. Let's not forget that Ukip topping the polls in 2014 led to the promise of a referendum on the EU's membership, the effects of which we are still seeing.
5 Silas Frøkner
QUOTE(Rooney @ Apr 11 2019, 12:06 AM) *
These Euro elections are going to be bloody important, don't vote Labour unless they come out with a clear stance on what type of Brexit they want.

I second this. Seen nothing from them that suggests they either have a plan or if they did have a plan that it would be substantially different from the Tories.


I will be proxy voting for the SNP. Hoping they might come out with the third seat this time
Rooney
QUOTE(5 Silas Frøkner @ Apr 13 2019, 11:32 AM) *
I second this. Seen nothing from them that suggests they either have a plan or if they did have a plan that it would be substantially different from the Tories.
I will be proxy voting for the SNP. Hoping they might come out with the third seat this time


They still want Brexit, they just haven't told us what type of Brexit they want yet. I mean it took them two years to come up with a Custom's Union and they are will they/won't they with supporting a second referendum. I just think it's really important to not use the vote to default to Labour unless they are clear about what they want.

Personally I suspect there will be much more interest in these elections this time around. We only got a referendum in the first place because of UKIP, I think sending a strong message to
the government the better.

Oh and if anyone wants a laugh about the Brexit Party the below links will put a smile on your face, especially the first one.

http://thebrexitparty.eu/
https://thebrexitparty.com/
Botchia
We could end up with some very messy results based on the opinion polls but I guess campaigning hasn't started yet!
Holly and Izzy
UKIP are lining up just the greatest list of candidates aren't they?

If you needed a reminder it's <current year> their second choice for the South West is Carl Benjamin, aka. Sargon Of Akkad on Youtube, and my eternal enemy for disgracing the name of the 4th millennium BC's coolest world conqueror. A """liberal""" (right-winger using the 'classical liberal' moniker to gain wide appeal) who hates political correctness, wants to make Britain great again and once sent an 'I wouldn't even rape you' comment to a Labour MP.

Mark Meecham (aka. Count Dankula of the Nazi dog free speech controversy) has also joined the party and is angling to be an MEP.

So *sigh* potential for right-wing memes to give UKIP a boost.
vidsanta
QUOTE(Iz~ @ Apr 14 2019, 02:04 PM) *
UKIP are lining up just the greatest list of candidates aren't they?

If you needed a reminder it's <current year> their second choice for the South West is Carl Benjamin, aka. Sargon Of Akkad on Youtube, and my eternal enemy for disgracing the name of the 4th millennium BC's coolest world conqueror. A """liberal""" (right-winger using the 'classical liberal' moniker to gain wide appeal) who hates political correctness, wants to make Britain great again and once sent an 'I wouldn't even rape you' comment to a Labour MP.

Mark Meecham (aka. Count Dankula of the Nazi dog free speech controversy) has also joined the party and is angling to be an MEP.

So *sigh* potential for right-wing memes to give UKIP a boost.


Given the short notice, the quality of candidates all round is likely to be low. sad.gif
XmasIslandSnake
I am sure the Brexit Party will do better than UKIP in the European election because UKIP is becoming a bit of a tainted brand, and on the other side of the Brexit spectrum, Change UK will do better than the Lib Dems (although that will be closer between the two).

Meanwhile almost certainly the Conservatives will have a disastrous performance and probably Labour will make some slight gains, but not do as well as they should be doing under the circumstances.
Holly and Izzy
Nah. The provisional Lib Dem list for the same area contains two former MPs, school governors, environmental scientists, people with experience in international organisations. I was impressed. People that looked like the sort of people we would send to be MEPs for the full allotted time, not those who've gotten internet famous from being intentionally abrasive and with skeletons spilling out of their closets. UKIP is scraping.
XmasIslandSnake
QUOTE(Iz~ @ Apr 14 2019, 03:30 PM) *
Nah. The provisional Lib Dem list for the same area contains two former MPs, school governors, environmental scientists, people with experience in international organisations. I was impressed. People that looked like the sort of people we would send to be MEPs for the full allotted time, not those who've gotten internet famous from being intentionally abrasive and with skeletons spilling out of their closets. UKIP is scraping.


You think the Lib Dems will do better than Change UK then, even though Change UK have the benefit of being shiny and new?
Brett-Butler
QUOTE(TheSnake @ Apr 14 2019, 03:35 PM) *
You think the Lib Dems will do better than Change UK then, even though Change UK have the benefit of being shiny and new?


Shiny & new ≠ Good, especially when politics is involved.
Holly and Izzy
Almost certainly I'd say, though I am a tad biased. LDs already have an infrastructure and an identity, and they've been the biggest pro-Europe party ever since the referendum. For those who it's an issue, they also oppose federalism in Europe, and are a bit less likely to be soulless neoliberals. CUK could gain centrist ground but I'm not seeing a world where they manage to place themselves as THE remain party.

Being the most established pro-Remain party I think will put them at least 4th overall if not better. Where they've often been held back in elections is their fragmented spread of voters that works against them with FPTP. They were 5th last time but that was at their lowest ebb of popularity, I think they'll get some more this time.
Brett-Butler
QUOTE(Iz~ @ Apr 14 2019, 02:04 PM) *
UKIP are lining up just the greatest list of candidates aren't they?

If you needed a reminder it's <current year> their second choice for the South West is Carl Benjamin, aka. Sargon Of Akkad on Youtube, and my eternal enemy for disgracing the name of the 4th millennium BC's coolest world conqueror. A """liberal""" (right-winger using the 'classical liberal' moniker to gain wide appeal) who hates political correctness, wants to make Britain great again and once sent an 'I wouldn't even rape you' comment to a Labour MP.

Mark Meecham (aka. Count Dankula of the Nazi dog free speech controversy) has also joined the party and is angling to be an MEP.

So *sigh* potential for right-wing memes to give UKIP a boost.


I guess we should be glad that Paul Joseph Watson of InfoWars, who joined at the same time, isn't on the list (as of yet), so small mercies & all that. But yes, not a good look

I imagine these internet "personalities" will be putting their emphasis on the recent EU vote over copyright reform in relation to Article 13, aka the "Meme Ban" bill. It is something that many people have issues with, especially given the shenanigans that happened to get it through, but these are definitely not the people you want flying the flag on the issue.
5 Silas Frøkner
QUOTE(Iz~ @ Apr 14 2019, 03:49 PM) *
Almost certainly I'd say, though I am a tad biased. LDs already have an infrastructure and an identity, and they've been the biggest pro-Europe party ever since the referendum. For those who it's an issue, they also oppose federalism in Europe, and are a bit less likely to be soulless neoliberals. CUK could gain centrist ground but I'm not seeing a world where they manage to place themselves as THE remain party.

Being the most established pro-Remain party I think will put them at least 4th overall if not better. Where they've often been held back in elections is their fragmented spread of voters that works against them with FPTP. They were 5th last time but that was at their lowest ebb of popularity, I think they'll get some more this time.

Biggest party by Members or MPs? Because they're second on both counts to the SNP and the SNP don't even stand outside of Scotland.
Suedehead2
QUOTE(5 Silas Frøkner @ Apr 14 2019, 04:34 PM) *
Biggest party by Members or MPs? Because they're second on both counts to the SNP and the SNP don't even stand outside of Scotland.

Let's just settle for the description "UK-wide party". Besides, he said "most established", not "biggest".
5 Silas Frøkner
"biggest pro-Europe party ever since the referendum"

Hence the Q.
Holly and Izzy
I said both but I was simply thinking UK-wide (or, fine, just England!) as the SNP are not an option for most of the electorate.
Rooney
UKIP will do nothing in the elections, they're basically a re-branded BNP now. Sure they'll pick up some of the votes, but they're basically a Fascist party now.

If Farage hadn't founded the Brexit party then I could see things being different. Plus the Brexit party gives Farage (who was UKIP) a platform to blame everyone for not seeing through Brexit rah, rah, rah. It's just a pure populist party which is dangerous, as populist parties are but I can see why a Brexiteer would vote for them. If any Brexiteer votes for the UKIP party, well, they need their head knocking on!
vidsanta
QUOTE(Rooney @ Apr 14 2019, 07:08 PM) *
UKIP will do nothing in the elections, they're basically a re-branded BNP now. Sure they'll pick up some of the votes, but they're basically a Fascist party now.

If Farage hadn't founded the Brexit party then I could see things being different. Plus the Brexit party gives Farage (who was UKIP) a platform to blame everyone for not seeing through Brexit rah, rah, rah. It's just a pure populist party which is dangerous, as populist parties are but I can see why a Brexiteer would vote for them. If any Brexiteer votes for the UKIP party, well, they need their head knocking on!


That depends -

1. They might not realise that UKIP have changed.

2. They might be so pissed off at the fiasco over BRexit, that they'll vote for them despite the change.
Pogueschartpeak
QUOTE(vidcapper @ Apr 15 2019, 06:29 AM) *
That depends -

1. They might not realise that UKIP have changed.

2. They might be so pissed off at the fiasco over BRexit, that they'll vote for them despite the change.


Sounds like you're saying UKIP voters are too stupid to notice the changes or so extreme that they'll vote for them in spite of the move to the nutty far-right. That doesn;t sound very complimentary either way tongue.gif
vidsanta
QUOTE(Popchartfreak @ Apr 16 2019, 01:05 PM) *
Sounds like you're saying UKIP voters are too stupid to notice the changes or so extreme that they'll vote for them in spite of the move to the nutty far-right. That doesn;t sound very complimentary either way tongue.gif


That was not my intention. rolleyes.gif
Pogueschartpeak
well here's a depressingly potentially accurate summary of what's likely to happen....

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2...ections-eu-vote
Brett-Butler
Lord Buckethead, the satirical character who stood against Theresa May in the 2017 General Election (and previously stood against Margaret Thatcher & John Major in 1987 & 1992 respectively) is hoping to stand in the EU elections against Nigel Farage. Although he has never polled greater than 1%, and due to the party list system stands no chance of getting in even if his support increased 10-fold, in this topsy-turvy political world a slight part of me can't rule him out.
Holly and Izzy
...which is why it's more important than ever for Remain forces to start coming together. The Lib Dems need to get back into the media, Change UK need to sort out how they're batting.

Consider the narrative that comes from the result of the elections first. Which is possibly more important than the actual result. The Brexit party comes top and the conversation is how there is still desire on that side. If it's a good lead. However if they come very close behind Labour, with Lib Dem/Green/ChangeUK all polling somewhat decently, while UKIP courting only the vote from insane internet incels and the Tories floundering, then I don't know that it'd be as easy to spin the result. In fact, one would then be encouraged to count Leave MEPs/Remain MEPS and the latter would look pretty good.

It being proportional is going to help this a lot. If you understand the system, you'll see there are no wasted votes. And then to counter my other point, you have more chance of blocking a UKIP or 2nd Brexit MEP in your region by voting someone like the Greens (though try and check local polling to be sure). This is the one election where a cause being divided is actually pretty strong. As long as each party can poll ENOUGH to get over the line (i.e. at least half of the highest vote total), we could end up with an election where the average constituency sends one of each of the seven major parties. Of course, many have less.
Suedehead2
I'm sure most Lib Dems would agree that the [party need to get back in the media. However, they cannot force papers to publish their press releases and they can't force broadcasters to report what the party is saying (although that changes a little in an election period). Farage, on the other hand, seems to have his every utterance reported uncritically, even when he uses inflammatory language about "putting the fear of God" into politicians at a time when many of them are receiving death threats.

Labour's ambiguity means that both sides will try and insist that the party's vote should be added to their side. Their current MEPs are overwhelmingly Remainers and they will be at the top of the party list. Therefore, most of those standing again will be re-elected. That should mean that the majority of UK MEPs will be Remainers.

The decision of the ChUKas to contest the elections may prove to be a mistake. At least the Greens can claim that they are a distinct party with their own policies and use that to justify standing against the Lib Dems. As they have almost no policies, the ChUKas can't claim that. I suspect there will be several areas where the Lib Dems and ChUKas both win no seats but where they would have won one if all the votes had gone to one of the parties.
Doctor Blind
What concerns me is that the Leave vote has a clear channel to be funnelled towards: the newly created Farage.. er, I mean, BREXIT party.

The Remain camp OTOH is likely to be split amongst the more progressive smaller parties, with ChUK helping to split that vote further rather than unite it. Ultimately they may end up undoing all of the momentum from the People's Vote movement and take the (currently unlikely) prospect of a 2nd referendum beyond all hope.
vidsanta
QUOTE(Doctor Blind @ Apr 20 2019, 12:34 PM) *
What concerns me is that the Leave vote has a clear channel to be funnelled towards: the newly created Farage.. er, I mean, BREXIT party.

The Remain camp OTOH is likely to be split amongst the more progressive smaller parties, with ChUK helping to split that vote further rather than unite it. Ultimately they may end up undoing all of the momentum from the People's Vote movement and take the (currently unlikely) prospect of a 2nd referendum beyond all hope.


We can only hope... tongue.gif
Brett-Butler
Some good news for Remainers is that The SDP, which currently has one MEP, has decided not to put forward any candidates for the European Elections. I think it's madness that despite their pro-Brexit stance that they would look a gift horse in the mouth and turn down an opportunity to re-build their profile on a national level, but hey ho, that's their prerogative.
ChristmaSteve201
Farage and his career reminds me of Oswald Mosley a bit albeit he was never in government!
vidsanta
QUOTE(Brett-Butler @ Apr 20 2019, 03:05 PM) *
Some good news for Remainers is that The SDP, which currently has one MEP, has decided not to put forward any candidates for the European Elections. I think it's madness that despite their pro-Brexit stance that they would look a gift horse in the mouth and turn down an opportunity to re-build their profile on a national level, but hey ho, that's their prerogative.


Or maybe they're afraid of another MRLP style humiliation?
Holly and Izzy
QUOTE(Suedehead2 @ Apr 20 2019, 11:23 AM) *
I'm sure most Lib Dems would agree that the [party need to get back in the media. However, they cannot force papers to publish their press releases and they can't force broadcasters to report what the party is saying (although that changes a little in an election period). Farage, on the other hand, seems to have his every utterance reported uncritically, even when he uses inflammatory language about "putting the fear of God" into politicians at a time when many of them are receiving death threats.

Labour's ambiguity means that both sides will try and insist that the party's vote should be added to their side. Their current MEPs are overwhelmingly Remainers and they will be at the top of the party list. Therefore, most of those standing again will be re-elected. That should mean that the majority of UK MEPs will be Remainers.

The decision of the ChUKas to contest the elections may prove to be a mistake. At least the Greens can claim that they are a distinct party with their own policies and use that to justify standing against the Lib Dems. As they have almost no policies, the ChUKas can't claim that. I suspect there will be several areas where the Lib Dems and ChUKas both win no seats but where they would have won one if all the votes had gone to one of the parties.


I reckon that the existence of Labour will detract from the argument that it is a proxy referendum as their votes can't be claimed for either side, that said, if you feel strongly either way about the issue, then it would be a mistake to vote Labour.

Unless CUK really get going in the next month with TV appearances, I can see them performing rather dismally. What reason do people have to vote for them that means they wouldn't already be considering voting LDs as a Remain vote? I am not seeing positive messages of support from anywhere. And I certainly see the possibility you mention happening, this tweet from FT (found by simply searching 'Change UK', of course) shows how the potential results (from poll averages) would look with them divided and them united.



I'm actually itching to go campaign right now, and wishing I could. One disadvantage of trying to leave it all behind. I'll have to settle for social media making sure people are registered.
Suedehead2
One of the UKIP candidates is called Dick Braine. Just thought I'd mention it.
Holly and Izzy
Pah, Mebyon Kernow have been playing the innuendo game for 22 years.

not that ole dick cole or the entire party is even likely standing
Brett-Butler
After Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister was announced as a Brexit Party candidate, Change Uk have upped the ante by announcing Boris’ sister, the journalist Rachel Johnston, as their candidate (to the surprise of absolutely no one). They’ve also announced former Newsnight host Gavin Esner as a candidate.
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