European elections 2019: These are the East Midlands candidates and everything you need to know about the vote
With the fall out from the local elections still fresh in the memory voters across the East Midlands are already preparing to head back to the polls to elect our next batch of MEPs.
The vote, which takes place on May 23, has come as a surprise to many who thought the UK may have already Brexit-ed by now.However, with our EU membership still intact political parties have been scrambling to launch last-minute election campaigns and pull together a list of candidates.
So who exactly are we voting for in the region and what impact are our votes likely to have?The UK currently has 73 members of the European Parliament. These are split between 12 electoral regions, with each region represented by between three and ten MEPs. The East Midlands is one of those regions, and is represented by five MEPs.To contest those five seats each party in the East Midlands has put forward its own list of five candidates – known as a regional list.Using the D’Hondt system people then vote for a party rather than an individual candidate and each party’s candidates are allocated seats in the European parliament based on where the party ranks in the results.The first seat a party wins is allocated to their first candidate on the ballot paper, the second seat to the second, and so forth.
What happened last time?
With nearly 33 percent of votes UKIP won the most support in the East Midlands in the 2014 election, up 16 percent. The result meant two MEPs, Roger Helmer and Margot Parker, were returned to the European parliament for the party.The Conservatives were second with 26 percent of the vote (down four percent), which was also enough to return two MEPs, Emma McClarkin and Andrew Lewer.Labour was third with 25 percent of the vote, which meant they had one elected representative, Glenis Willmott.The Greens came fourth with six percent, pushing the Liberal Democrats into fifth with just over five percent (down seven percent). That meant veteran Lib Dem MEP Bill Newton Dunn lost his seat.
And what's the current situation?Only two of the five elected MEPs in the East Midlands have lasted the full five years of the parliament.In June 2017, Andrew Lewer won the Northampton South seat in the snap General Election, stepped down as an MEP, and was replaced by Rupert Matthews.Meanwhile, Roger Helmer retired after 18 years, with his place as an MEP being taken by Jonathan Bullock who went on to leave UKIP in December 2018 for the Brexit Party.Also later in 2017, Glenis Willmott stood down and was replaced by Rory Palmer.Those changes mean the current list of East Midlands MEPs is:Jonathon Bullock (Brexit Party)Emma McClarkin (Conservative)Rupert Matthews (Conservative)Rory Palmer (Labour)Margot Parker (UKIP)
Who is putting up candidates this time around?
Eight different parties or groups have put forward candidates in the East Midlands. There are two new options on the ballot paper - the Brexit Party, formed by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage; and Change UK, formed by a number of disaffected Remainers from other parties. There is also one independent candidate.The other parties standing are the Conservatives, the Green Party, the Independent Network (an association supporting candidates who are not members of traditional political parties), Labour, Liberal Democrats, and UKIP.All of the existing MEPs are standing again, with the exception of Margot Parker.
When will the result be known?The votes across the European Union will take place from May 23 - 26, meaning the full results will not be available until after May 27. But, in the UK, the results are expected to begin being announced late on Sunday – three days after the voting takes place.
Here is a full list of the official candidates for the East Midlands:
1 Annunziata Rees-Mogg2 Jonathan Deryck Bullock3 Matthew Richard Patten4 Tracy Selina Knowles5 Anna Louisa Bailey
Change UK1 Kate Godfrey2 Joan Laplana3 Narinder Sharma4 Pankajhumar Gulab5 Emma-Jane Marley
Conservatives1 Emma McClarkin2 Rupert Matthews3 Anthony Harper4 Brendan Clarke-Smith5 Thomas Randall
Greens1 Kat Boettge2 Gerhard Lohmann-Bond3 Liam McClelland4 Daniel Wimberley5 Simon Tooke
Independent1 Simon Louis Rood
Independent Network1 Nick Byatt2 Marianne Jane Overton3 Daniel Anthony Simpson4 Pearl Winifred Clarke5 Nikki Dillon
Labour1 Rory Palmer2 Leonie Mathers3 Tony Tinley4 Nicolle Ndiweni5 Gary Godden
Liberal Democrats1 Bill Newton Dunn2 Michael Mullaney3 Lucy Care4 Suzanna Austin5 Caroline Kenyon
Ukip1 Alan Graves2 Marietta King3 Anil Bhatti4 Fran Loi5 John Evans