Brexit Party dominates in European Elections

The European Parliament Elections took place on Thursday but we were unable to get the results until yesterday as the rest of the EU had to hold their elections over the weekend. It was predicted that the Brexit Party would do well in the East Midlands region and the party didn’t disappoint, and neither did the Liberal Democrats.

The last European Parliament Elections in 2014 returned 2 UKIP; 1 Labour and 2 Conservative MEPs. The elections have radically redrawn the makeup of the East Midlands 5 MEP’s, saw the first East Midlands MEPs for the Brexit Party and the first elected Liberal Democrat elected since Nick Clegg left the European Parliament in 2004.

This year saw the emergence of the two single issue Political Parties, the Brexit Party and Change UK/ The Independent Group, the contrast between their performances is stark. There is a heavy concentration of Change UK MPs in the East Midlands with two in the Nottingham area alone, but there is clearly not a high concentration of Change UK support in this area. In Anna Soubry’s constituency of Broxtowe ranked 6th with just 4.7% of the vote just 0.7% higher than the UKIP vote.

PartyMEPs electedVotes cast
Brexit3 452,321
Lib Dems1 203,989
Labour Party1 164,682
Conservative Party0 126,138
Greens0 124,630
UKIP0 58,198
Change UK0 41,117
Independent Network 0 7,641
Simon Rood (Ind.)0 4,511

The new cadre of the East Midlands MEP’s are as follows:

  1. Annunziata Rees-Mogg (Brexit Party)
  2. Jonathan Bullock (Brexit Party)
  3. Matthew Patten (Brexit Party)
  4. William Newton-Dunn (Lib Dems)
  5. Rory Palmer (Labour)

The East Midlands was one of the highest Leave voting regions in the UK, Boston recorded the highest leave vote in the Country with 75% of the electorate voting to leave. So it was to be expected that the Brexit Party would do well in our region and most projections showed the Brexit Party taking two MEP seats but it was unexpected that there would be 3 Brexit Party MEPs for this region.

For a party that is only a few months old the Brexit party performed exceedingly well, it received just over double the amount of votes than the Liberal Democrats who placed second overall. The same cannot be said for Change UK which recieved less votes than UKIP, which was nationally wiped out, having lost all 24 of its MEPs from the last election. Change UK founders rushed to limit the damage, spokesman Chuka Umunna blamed the parties poor performance on the youth of the party and admitted that the party had made mistakes, interim party leader Heidi Allen raised the possibility of some form of cooperation with the Liberal Democrats.

This election wiped out both UKIP and the Conservatives from the East Midlands and nationally. Before at the 2014 election the Conservatives secured 19 MEP’s and had an MP in most of the UK’s regions, today the Conservatives footprint in the European Parliament has been reduced to 4 and has been confined to mainly to south of England with 1 in Scotland. For UKIP it is worse, from a major political player in 2014, becoming the first party, which was not one of the two main parties at Westminster to win a national election, to an fringe political grouping.

While the East Midlands results show there still a strong desire for Brexit, this was not the case nationwide, The Brexit Party gained 29 out of the 73 UK MEPs, which has made them the largest Party in the European Parliament, but with the split between remain parties and a low turnout has not made it clearer for MPs to see if Brexit voters are still in the majority and if so, what support no deal brexit has. This has resulted in renewed calls for a second EU referendum or a General Election.

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Who is Standing for Election to the European Parliament?

The European Elections are fast approaching and all the major parties participating have launched their campaigns. Now that candidates have been confirmed by the Electoral Commission you can see who will be standing for election before you see their names at voting booth.

How does voting work?

The electoral system used in European Parliament Elections are not the same system used in General Elections, European Parliament elections uses the D’Hondt System to select winners.

There are also different electoral regions used, for the Purposes of European Parliament elections the UK has been split into 12 Regions, Nottingham sits within the East Midlands region, which contains 46 constituencies used for General Elections.

To make matter even more confusing, instead of the usual single-member constituencies used in General Elections, the East Midlands elects 5 MEPs. These MPs are selected for party lists, if a MEP resigns during their term the next candidate on their party list takes their seat.

Who won last time

The Last European Parliament election took place in 2014, 1 referendum and two General elections ago, that election saw gains strong gains for UKIP across the country, this year is likely to see strong gains for the Brexit Party and Liberal Democrats.

  • Roger Helmer (UKIP 2014-17), Replaced by Jonathan Bullock (UKIP 2017-18, Brexit Party 2019-)
  • Margot Parker (UKIP 2014-19, Brexit Party 2019-)
  • Emma McClarkin (Conservative)
  • Andrew Lewer (Conservative 2014-17, replaced by Rupert Matthews)
  • Glenis Willmott (2014-2017, replaced by Rory Palmer 2017-

Who is standing this time?

As you can see, in the last parliament there was a large amount of changes both party allegiance or MEP, this will be reflected in party lists as candidates who previously appeared on one parties list will now appear on a different list and some will not appear on any lists at all such as Glenis Willmott who retired and Andrew Lever who resigned after being elected as an MP in 2017.

For this years candidates I have created some graphics so that you can easily share them with friends and family so that they can find. There will be more graphics like these appearing on our Instagram and twitter pages.

When does voting take place?

The UK will be one of the first member-states to vote along side the Netherlands, in keeping with tradition the UK will vote on a Thursday, 23rd May however results will not be announced until the rest of the EU has voted on Sunday 26th May. You can find your polling place either on your ballot card or via the electoral commission website.

What you need to know for election day on Thursday

There is now less than 48 hours to go until Polling places open for the 2019 local elections. Here is some important information that you need to know for election day.

In Nottingham, Labour will be looking to maintaining their control of the City Council, While the Conservatives will be looking to hold onto their current seats, and other parties will be looking to establish their presence on the council.

Polling Places

Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm. It is important that you go to your assigned polling place as you will not be able to vote elsewhere, you can find your polling place on your Poll Card or alternatively you can search, using your postcode, on the Electoral Commission website.

You do not have to have your ballot card with you and ff you are in line by 10pm you should still be able to vote.

Taking photo’s

It can be exciting going when casting your vote, however it the Electoral Commission strongly advises against ballot selfies as these can risk exposing the votes of other voters which can break voting secrecy laws which can lead to fines of several thousand Pounds.

Casting your ballot

When it comes to actually voting it is advised that you use a cross, however you can use whatever symbol you want as long as it makes your vote clear.

If you have made a mistake when voting, you should speak to the polling place staff before placing your ballot paper in the ballot box, they will be able to issue you with a new ballot paper.

You should not sign your ballot paper as this potentially breaches voting secrecy laws and as such any signed ballot papers will be rejected and will not count towards the desired candidate.

If you cant make it to the Polling place

If a medical or work emergency means that you cannot get to the polling place you may be able to apply for an emergency proxy vote, You can apply for this upto 5pm on Thursday. More information and how to apply for an emergency proxy vote are avaliable here: https://www.yourvotematters.co.uk/how-do-i-vote/voting-by-proxy.

Rees-Mogg top of Brexit Party candidate list

Annunziata Rees-Mogg is top of the list of Brexit Party Candidates in the East Midlands.

The Brexit Party today confirmed it’s candidate lists for the European Parliament elections which will take place on the 23rd May.

Under the proportional representation system used for election to the European Parliament parties list MEP candidates to fill the 5 vacancies in order, MEPs are then distributed according to vote share.

The Brexit Party is led by Nigel Farage and aims to ensure that Brexit takes place. It views the European elections as both a betrayal of the referendum and an effective referendum to confirm that brexit is still wanted.

The Brexit Party have listed the following as their Candidates:
– Annunziata Rees-Mogg
– Jonathan Bullock
– Matthew Patten
– Tracy Knowles
– Anna Bailey

Ms Rees-Mogg is the sister of prominent Conservative leaver, Jacob Rees-Mogg and unsuccessfully stood for election in the 2010 when her brother was first elected.

Jonathan Bullock first became an MEP in 2017 as a member of UKIP however he left the party in December last year and subsequently joined the Brexit Party.

Nigel Farage to Visit Nottingham

Nigel Farage the Leader of the new Brexit Party will be visiting Nottingham on Saturday as part of a series of events to promote the party ahead of the planned European Parliament Elections at the end of next month.

Nigel Farage staged the launch of the Brexit Party in Birmingham last Saturday (13th April) and has since staged events similar to the one to take place in Nottingham.

The Brexit Party was founded earlier this year, Nigel Farage took over following the announcement that Brexit is unlikely to happen before the the European Parliament elections take place on the 23rd May. (Image: Brexit Party)

The new Brexit Party has gained 14 MEPs due to defection from UKIP, two of those MEPs include Margot Parker and Roger Helmer who are MEPs for the East Midlands European Constituency of which Nottingham is included within. Polls have suggested that the Brexit Party will do well in the European Elections which will take place on the 23rd of May.

Nottinghamshire voted overall 57.9% for leave and 42.1% to remain, most areas of Nottinghamshire with the exception of Rushcliffe voted to leave in the 2016 referendum. Nottingham City voted 61,343 to 59,318 to leave, but at 61% had the 5th lowest turnout in the UK (BBC News, 2016).

UKIP is Charging £3 for entry into the event which will be held at the Albert Hall Conference Centre from 2:00pm to 4:00pm on Saturday (20th April). Tickets are avaliable from Eventbrite.

Nottingham Conservatives twitter post sparks backlash

The Nottingham Conservatives posted a tweet which launched a scathing attack on Nottingham Labour using language which has been condemned by Nottingham Labour Politicians.

The Notts Conservatives have launched a campaign for the local elections based on criticism of the performance of the incumbent Labour administration in the city and of the Labour MPs.

Lilian Greenwood has been MP for Nottingham South since 2010 and serves as Chair of the the Commons Transport committee and is a member of the influential Liaison Committee (Source: parliament.uk)

The Tweet posted in response to a labour leaflet promoting Labour MP Lilian Greenwood, stating that they are “not sure what she [Lilian Greenwood] actually does here”. Ms Greenwood is the Chair of the Transport Committee and a member of the influential Liaison Committee in the House of Commons.

The Tweet, now deleted, which caused the outcry from Nottingham Labour (Source: Twitter.com)

The Labour party leaflet asked for suggestion for what their 5 local priorities should be, this is the most controversial part of the tweet which has since been deleted. The tweet included suggestions of “rough sleepers/ fake homeless”, “Dirty streets” and “beggars”.

The tweet has caused a huge amount of backlash from the nottingham labour, senior Labour member, Councillor Sam Webster tweeted “I’m glad we’re running a positive campaign with policies, ideas, a plan & ambition for Nottingham”, he was joined by others.

Labour member Kirsty Jones defended Lilian Greenwood MP, and drew parallels between today’s tweet and a 2017 Facebook post by Conservative Candidate Nicholas Max.

Labour Party member, Kirsty Jones drew parallels with a 2017 Facebook post by a Conservative Candidate (Source: Twitter.com)

Nottingham Conservatives were not contacted for Comment

Chris Leslie has resigned from the Labour party. What does this mean?

Earlier today, Chris Leslie the MP for Nottingham East resigned from the Labour Party and announced that he join with 6 other MPs to form the Independent Group.

First and Foremost, it must be made clear, Chris Leslie has resigned from the Labour party, not his seat in Parliament. At least in theory, MPs are elected as individuals as members of a party list, so for now Chris Leslie still holds the mandate to sit in Parliament and represent Nottingham East which is not affected by party affiliation.

Chris Leslie will now sit in the House of Commons along side Luciana Berger, Ann Coffey, Mike Grapes, Gavin Shuker, Angela Smith and Chuka Umunna as part of The Independent Group. The Independent Group is not a registered Political party and has no membership apart from the 7 MP’s who have formed it, although the website allows donations. It is supported by Gemini A LTD, a Limited company who’s only Director is Gavin Shuker.

While there is no manifesto published on the website, a set of main principles are set out in a ‘Statement of Independence’. A overriding principle is that the group seeks policies that are “evidenced-based, not led by ideology”. You can see the full see list of values on the ‘Statement of independence’ webpage.

Overall, Chris Leslie has left the Labour party, so will no longer be required to follow the way the Labour leadership directs its MPs to do so. But, he remains the Member of Parliament for Nottingham East, unless he resigns from Parliament to allow for a by-election,