Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How to vote in the European elections this Thursday

The East Devon Alliance has provided a 'handy guide' to how to go about voting this week:


How does your vote work on Thursday’s European Elections?
The EDA research team has found that most of the people they talk to haven’t a clue as to how the European Election works. When you read this you may not be is not entirely surprised. But it is important for the democratic process that you do understand before you get to the ballot box.
The voting system used is a form of proportional representation called the – “closed list”.
Who am I voting for?
Between three and ten Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to represent your region. The UK is divided into regions, one for each of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and nine covering England. Each region is allocated a number of MEPs according to its population. Our region is the South West and we are represented by six MEPs.
How do I vote?
Well always read the instructions for filling in the ballot paper carefully, even if you have voted before. The ballot paper lists political parties and independent candidates. Under each party name is a list of candidates who wish to represent that party. Simply put an X (a cross) next to the party or independent candidate that you wish to vote for. If you make a mistake then you can ask the polling staff to give you another ballot paper. You may also be voting in other elections on the same day. In our region (super constituency) we have no independent candidates but we have eight parties to choose from. Remember with no independents we cannot vote for a candidate, only a party. We have one vote although we are electing six MEPs.
So who is elected? (Take this slowly it is not quite a complicated as it sounds).
In a given region the allocated seats are awarded using a quota system in successive rounds of counting, until all MEPs are elected. For each round the quota for that round is the total number of votes received by a party (or independent candidate) divided by the number of seats already gained in that region +1. So, for a party with no seats (and for the first round) the number of votes received is divided by one, and so stays the same. If the party already has one seat then its number of votes is divided by two, if it has two seats it is divided by three, and so on. This means that the more seats you have already won, the harder it is to gain extra seats, so the overall allocation of seats is more proportional to the number of votes received. The first seat that a party wins goes to the first person on its list, the second seat to the second person, and so on, until the party has either not won any more seats or has run out of names on its list. An independent candidate is treated as though he or she were a party with only one name on its list. –
See more at:
What are the Eight Parties standing and who are their candidates?
A pdf of the list of candidates can be found at: UK Candidates 2014
Voting at the European elections on Thursday: a handy guide | East Devon Alliance

And the Express & Echo provides a guide to the parties and candidates:

European elections 2014: What you need to know about the South West candidates

Posted: May 20, 2014

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Forty-eight candidates under eight separate party banners will contest the South West’s European Parliament seats this Thursday.
The region, which includes Gibraltar, returns six MEPs to Brussels. The candidates are:
An Independence from Europe: David Smith; Helen Webster; Mike Camp; Andrew Edwards; Phil Dunn; John Taverner
British National Party: Adrian Romilly; Cliff Jones; Arnold Brindle; Wayne Peter Tomlinson; Andrew Webster; Giuseppe De Santis
Conservative Party: Ashley Peter Fox; Julie McCulloch Girling; James Cracknell; Georgina Susan Butler; Sophie Swire; Melissa Maynard
English Democrats: Alan England; Mike Blundell; Clive Lavelle; Barbara Wright; Steve Wright; Ray Carr
Green Party: Molly Scott Cato; Emily Rachel McIvor; Ricky Knight; Audaye Khalid Elesedy; Judy Maciejowska; Mark Chivers
Labour Party: Clare Miranda Moody; Glyn Ford; Ann Margaret Reeder; Hadleigh Vaughan Roberts; Jude Robinson; Junab Ali
Liberal Democrats: Graham Robert Watson; Kay Barnard; Brian George Felton Mathew; Andrew Paul Wigley; Jay Oliver Risbridger; Lyana Patricia Armstong-Emery
UK Independence Party (UKIP): William Dartmouth; Julia Reid; Gawain Howard Wilkinson Towler; Tony McIntyre; Robert Lee Smith; Keith Montgomery Crawford
The proportional representation “list” system adopted for elections to the European Parliament is very different from the first-past-the-post method favoured in British elections. Instead of voting for an individual candidate, those going to the polls vote for a party.
In the South West, an area stretching from Gloucestershire in the north, Wiltshire in the east and Cornwall in the west, plus Gibraltar, six seats are up for grabs. Each party is entitled to put up six candidates, and MEPs are allocated according to the share of the vote the party secures. In 2009, the Conservatives secured 30% of the South West vote, returning three MEPs. UKIP won two seats and the Lib Dems one.
Voters go to the polls on Thursday, but votes will not be counted until Sunday.
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European elections 2014: What you need to know about the South West candidates | Exeter Express and Echo
A guide to the European election candidates - don’t forget to vote this THURSDAY - Claire Wright.

Michael Sandel has given us a very sharp guide to voting:
BBC Radio 4 - The Public Philosopher, Series 3, Why Vote?

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