Tag Archives: European Elections

Ask yourself a question – are you going to let UKIP win?

So a hat tip to the Liberal Democrats for this latest campaigns video as they continue to (not very successfully) pitch themselves as the only party that can stand up to UKIP.

I always maintain that there is a place and time for negative campaigning and this anti-UKIP rhetoric is one of them. Although, to clarify, I don’t think it is enough by itself.

Anyway – have a watch:

Let me know what you think of the video and whether or not it is more or less likely to make you vote Lib Dem!

Also, I am slightly aware that I have been rubbishing quite a lot of what The Green Party has been putting out lately so I thought it only right that I also highlight this rather good animated video from them regarding the privatization of the NHS. Again, well worth a watch.

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Russell Brand – Start a revolution in the European Elections

Russell Brand
A friend of mine, Dom Aversano*, has today launched a petition calling on Russell Brand to use both his vote and his influence to stop UKIP winning the up-coming European Elections.

His petition calls on:

‘Russell Brand to vote in the European Elections to prevent a UKIP victory, and use his influence to encourage young people and European citizens** to do the same.

I think this is a worthwhile cause that supporters of all political parties (and none) can get behind.

Please do sign the petition and then share with friends.

I don’t want the UK represented by UKIP. If you feel the same as me do something.

Take action!

 

*Yeah the same Dom Aversano who secured some half a million signatures on his petition to Iain Duncan Smith.

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Are The Green Party on course to beat the Lib Dems in May’s elections? Part 3

That’s right – I am still not bored of writing about whether or not The Green Party will beat the Lib Dems in May’s elections!

On the 28th April I wrote an article essentially saying that The Green Party was on course to have a good night at the European Elections and that Lib Dems were going to get a kicking but, significantly, there was little polling to support The Green Party’s claim that they would beat the Lib Dems nationally.

I then followed this up with an article on 4th May when, for the first time, a poll was published that showed The Green Party ahead of the Liberal Democrats.

Any balanced commentator by this point would conclude that the figures were within a ‘margin of error’ and that it was next to impossible to call who will come out on top (between the Greens and Lib Dems).

This, in my mind, is still the only conclusion to reach (combined with the fact that Lib Dems will drop seats and Greens will gain).

But there is something to suggest that The Green Party might just slip past the Lib Dems. This is the trend of polls. While the Lib Dems have the numbers in their favour (more polls have shown them beating Greens than vice-versa) there is a clear recent trend of Greens climbing in the polls as the elections get closer while the Lib Dems seem to be dropping.

As Robert Lindsay on twitter pointed out (click to enlarge):

Green opinion polls
Interestingly, the same ICM/Guardian poll that puts The Green Party on 10% and Lib Dems on 7% is also the second in as many days that have put the Conservatives ahead of Labour (the other being this from Lord Ashcroft).

If you can conclude one thing from these polls for May’s elections it is this: voting under a PR system there is everything to play for regardless of the colour of your rosette.

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Are The Green Party on course to beat the Lib Dems in May’s elections?

Green campaign
‘The Green Party is on track to beat the Lib Dems in May’s European Parliament elections’. That is the message being put out by the party today as they launch their European election campaign.

Although they have, to put it kindly, stretched the polling evidence (most polls still suggest Lib Dems will pip the Greens but not by much) there is real hope of The Green Party tripling the number of MEPs as the Liberal Democrats haemorrhage their 2009 vote share (they are polling around 9% – down from 2009’s 13.7%).

Interestingly even the one polling that The Green Party quote to suggest they are on track to beat the Lib Dems nationally has a headline figures suggesting the Lib Dems will beat The Green Party. To justify the claim of ‘being on course’ to beat the Lib Dems, the Greens use the figures from those saying they are likely to vote in May (see page 2).

This said, I am still expecting significant Green gains and Lib Dems losses come May’s elections.

The Green Party leader, Natalie Bennett, commented to the BBC today that the party needs a swing of just 1.6% to secure an additional 4 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs).

While the national polling is putting the Greens on a comparable vote share as 2009 (roughly 8%) they do have certain regional advantages (collapse of Lib Dems and BNP in specific regions play into their favour).

In light of this it is also looking increasingly likely that The Green Party will make gains in the East of England and the North West (I have written detailed voting breakdowns for the regions here and here).

In both regions, where I predicted a Green gains, I have also predicted Lib Dem losses.

Assuming that the electorate return The Green Party’s 2 current MEPs (for London and the South East) this will see them double their number of MEPs.

In addition there are regions such as the South West where in 2009 the Greens secured 9.3% of the vote (more than their national average and beating Labour) but just missed out on securing a MEP. It would take a small increase in vote share to secure their first MEP in regions such as the South West.

It would be a disaster though for the Lib Dems if this Green gain came at the expense of their one current MEP (the party secured 17% of the vote in 2009). In line with the national picture though it is still the Conservatives and their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats that have the most to lose!

In the regions such as the South West it will be an extremely tight race.

Whatever you do though come May, make sure you are registered to vote.

There are only 24 days to go….you have to decide, which party do you want representing you in the European Parliament?

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On Lord Rennard, Chris Davies MEP and the Lib Dems in the North West

Chris Davies

Chris Davies MEP describes alleged sexual assault as “the equivalent of a few years ago, an Italian man pinching a woman’s bottom”

I have blogged before about the up-coming European elections and how the North West promises to be an interesting political battle ground in the lead up to the elections.

In that blog I concluded that the Lib Dems are going to have to fight pretty hard to keep their one MEP in the region.

There current MEP and lead-candidate for up-coming European parliament elections, Chris Davies MEP, has done himself and his party no favours by commenting on the Lord Rennard sexual assault scandal saying:

“This is the equivalent of a few years ago, an Italian man pinching a woman’s bottom. How much more must this man be made to suffer …”

If this wasn’t amazing enough he then went onto pledge financial support to Rennard:

This doesn’t surprise me (as highlighted by Open Democracy, Lib Dems have a certain attachment to Rennard) but this does sadden me on a number of levels.

Firstly, it disappoints me to see a representative of a party set up around the principle of respect for others exhibit such overt sexism in response to alleged sexual assaults.

Secondly, the Liberal Democrats internationalism and general approach to the EU probably sits closet to my own view. I think more Lib Dems in the European Parliament is generally a good things. I think this might be the final nail in their coffin in the North West for these elections.

And of course other parties have not missed this. Peter Cranie, the lead candidate for The Green Party, has today blogged calling for all those (L)liberals to consider an alternative Green vote. In his words:

“Liberal Democrat activists in the North West who have been deeply disappointed by their MEP’s response to this issue are left with a very difficult choice. Vote for their party but re-elect a politician who will earn a Euro salary for five years and contribute towards the legal fees of Lord Rennard, not vote or vote for an alternative.”

Even if Lib Dems don’t chose this Green alternative the numbers turning to Labour or simply not turning up to the ballot box in disgust might well be enough to lose the Lib Dems there one MEP for the region.

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The BNP and the tactical battle for the North West

In 2009, Nick Griffin won a seat in the European Parliament after his party, the BNP, secured 132,094 votes*. We are now just over 4 months away from kicking him out. But the question is how? And what might come in his place?

Griffin visits Hamilton
The BNP’s political performance is like that of rollercoaster. What goes up must come down. Wherever the BNP saw electoral success they very quickly saw dismal failure. On this rollercoaster we are about to hit the final dip that, rather than swooping them back to dizzying electoral heights, will leave them derailed.

In the North West the BNP won 132,094 votes – enough to elect their racist-in-chief, Nick Griffin, to the European Parliament**.

If opinion polls are to be believed it would be a fair bet to assume that the BNP won’t be retaining their seat in the North West. The BNP are to British politics what Ford Pinto’s were to advancements in automotive safety.

Confident that this could play to their favour, UKIP activists were quoted in today’s Huffington Post saying they expected to win 50-75% of these votes – You know you’re a classy party when you’re celebrating mopping up the aftermath of a fascist party’s demise.

Saying that, we can also expect UKIP to gain in other areas. They are increasingly positioning themselves as the protest vote – it would be a reasonable assumption to say that this will hit those in power in Westminster the hardest. The Tories and Lib Dems picked up 4 seats between them in 2009. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that half at the 2014 elections.

Last but not least there are The Green Party who in 2009 missed winning another seat by a meagre 5,000 votes or, put another way, just 0.3%. With the right campaign there is little reason to think that they won’t secure one seat in the North West***.

It is important, in relation to keeping our fascist friend Mr Griffin out of office, that The Green Party does beat the BNP. It is very hard to imagine the BNP securing a seat in 6th place – but if Labour and UKIP fail to perform as well as expected the BNP could once again slip through the backdoor if they finish 5th.

So my conclusion is this.

  • If you vote Labour you will help them secure a third seat, but in reality your vote will be one of tens of thousands that places them between the benchmarks for gaining 3 or 4 seats.
  • If you vote UKIP you will contribute to both their regional and national rise in these elections. But a warning that I read on twitter today offers some humbling advice. Voting UKIP as a protest vote is like shitting in a hotel bed to protest about the bad service…only to realise you have to sleep in it that night.
  • If you vote Liberal Democrats, you will be fighting for them to keep hold of their one elected representative. Sadly I think this might well turnout to be losing battle.
  • If you vote Conservative you will be, in reality, fighting to put a stopper in the hemorrhage of votes flooding to UKIP. You might just enable them hold onto 2 elected representatives.
  • If you vote Green you will contribute in all likelihood to them securing their first MEP in the North West. I would argue that tactically it is also the most useful party to vote for if your aim is to keep the BNP out.
  • Lastly if you plan to vote BNP…well what can I say?
  • Oh, and if you’re one of those inexplicable 25,000 people who voted for the Christian Party “Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship – can you please get in touch…I’ve never met one before!

The North West will be a fascinating political battle ground over the coming months. We have to wait until May 22nd though to find out who will come out on top.

 

* The 2009 North West election results can be seen here.
** On a side note, one of my personal highlights of my time spent working in Brussels was watching Griffin lost in the, admittedly quite confusing, European Parliament.
*** The lead candidate for The Green Party is less sure about the demise of the BNP and wrote this article in the Huffington Post calling for unity to defeat the BNP…and get him elected. 

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Greens look to oust flailing BNP from European Parliament

Green Party announces list of candidates to take on far right in European elections while the BNP appear to struggle to find suitable candidates.

Yorkshire and Humber Green Party have today announced their list of candidates that they hope will kick far-right MEP Andrew Brons (former BNP) out of the European Parliament.

The Green Party’s lead candidate for Yorkshire and Humber seat will be Cllr Andrew Cooper, currently national energy spokesperson and a Kirklees councillor for over 10 years.

The standing MEP, Andrew Brons, last year resigned from the BNP after a public row with the leader and fellow MEP, Nick Griffin.  The BNP’s quest to find an alternative candidate looks increasingly desperate though as they put out one appeal after another for candidate applications – each time extending the deadline.

The BNP picked up some 120,000 votes (9.8%) in the 2009 election while the Green Party narrowly missed out on gaining a third MEP with 104,000 votes (8.5%).

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