European Elections May 23rd – Who is Standing?

The European Parliamentary Elections are being held on Thursday 23rd May and unless the United Kingdom leaves the European Union prior to that date, voting to elect MEPs will take place. 

Whatever your views on the pointlessness or otherwise of these elections, given that in all events the UK is due to leave by Oct 31st , the MEPs will in theory have a short shelf life – but given the debacle over Brexit so far, that may be a trifle optimistic and who knows, they could be representing us for a whole lot longer.

These elections are the only ones in which the whole of the UK uses a form of proportional representation whereby you vote for a PARTY and not an INDIVIDUAL – unless you vote for the Independent Candidate – with me so far? The Party’s share of candidates is decided by the Party’s proportion of votes gained and the Party then decides which of their candidates gets to become MEPs.

The six counties of the East of England (Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire) are known as the Eastern Region and last time elected seven MEPs by the party list system, which is probably why, if you took a poll, most people would not know the name of their current MEP.

So currently there are 7 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) for the Eastern Region. They were elected in 2014 by proportional representation and are as follows:.

Patrick O’Flynn
UK Independence Party – Eastern Region
Tim Aker
UK Independence Party – Eastern Region
David Campbell Bannerman
Conservative – Eastern Region
John Flack
Conservative Party – Eastern Region
Geoffrey Van Orden
Conservative – Eastern Region
Stuart Agnew
UK Independence Party – Eastern Region
Alex Mayer
Labour – Eastern Region

This time round there are eight parties standing in the election, each of which can name up to seven candidates that they want to see elected. There is also one independent candidate. In addition to the usual suspects there are new Parties contesting, which are Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, Change UK also known as the Independence party made up of disaffected MP’s from both Labour and Conservatives and The Greens are also putting up candidates.

The Brexit Party list is headed by Richard Tice, a multi-millionaire businessman who founded the “Leave Means Leave” pressure group after the 2016 Referendum and who is a regular Brexit advocate on television.

Change UK’s list for the region includes two former MPs, Neil Carmichael who was Tory MP for Stroud in Gloucestershire until 2017 and Roger Casale who was Labour MP for Wimbledon until 2005.

The Conservatives’ list is headed by outgoing MEPs Geoffrey Van Orden and John Flack, and Alex Mayer, also an outgoing MEP, is hoping to be re-elected for the Labour Party.

UEA Professor Catherine Rowett heads the regional list for the Greens.

Although UKIP are not the force they were they are still fielding candidates, including sitting MEP Stuart Agnew.

Candidates in the East of England: BOLD means they already hold a seat

– Change UK: Emma Taylor, Neil Carmichael, Bhavna Joshi, Michelle de Vries, Amanda Gummer, Thomas Graham, Roger Casale.

– Conservative: Geoffrey Van Orden, John Flack, Joe Rich, Thomas McLaren, Joel Charles, Wazz Mughal, Thomas Smith.

– English Democrat: Robin Tilbrook, Charles Vickers, Bridget Vickers, Paul Wiffen.

– Green: Catherine Rowett, Rupert Read, Martin Schmierer, Fiona Radic, Paul Jeater, Pallavi Devulapalli, Jeremy Caddick.

– Labour: Alex Mayer, Chris Vince, Sharon Taylor, Alvin Shum, Anna Smith, Adam Scott, Javeria Hussain.

– Liberal Democrat: Barbara Gibson, Lucy Nethsingha, Fionna Tod, Stephen Robinson, Sandy Walkington, Marie Goldman, Jules Ewart.

– Brexit Party: Richard Tice, Michael Heaver, June Mummery, Paul Hearn, Priscilla Huby, Sean Lever, Edmund Fordham.

– UKIP: Stuart Agnew, Paul Oakley, Elizabeth Jones, William Ashpole, Alan Graves, John Wallace, John Whitby

– Independent: Attila Csordas.

Voting for the European election is on May 23 – but the result is not declared immediately.

Other European countries vote at the weekend, so the votes are verified on the night but not counted until the evening of Sunday, May 26.

The votes are counted at local centres before they are sent through to a central count at Chelmsford from where the final result is announced during the late evening.


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