Why vote in the European Elections tomorrow?
You might be forgiven for thinking that tomorrow’s European elections are a waste of effort. If you care about brexit, either way, then it’s vital you go and vote tomorrow.
Tomorrow we have an opportunity to vote for the members of the European Parliament that represent the UK. After the brexit referendum and the shouting about the EU being unelected this might surprise you. However we’ve been able to elect Members of the European Parliament (MEP) for decades. Most of us don’t, the turnout for European elections is usually really low. Bizarrely, Nigel Farage is an MEP and routinely claims his salary and expenses.
The process uses proportional representation. You vote for a party and the parties have lists of candidates. The constituencies are huge. Scotland is one, London is another. Typically they have a population of about five to seven million. The UK as a whole has 73 MEPs.
Brexit and the European Elections
We weren’t expected to vote in this election. If the government had got a deal that Parliament supported then we’d already have left the EU.
Westminster will be revisiting the brexit preparations again in a couple of weeks. For the fourth time. MPs will be watching the outcome of tomorrow for signals, either that we should proceed rapidly with brexit, or stop.
None of them will quite admit that though. Even after the local elections a fortnight ago they spun the lines that suited them. The government got hammered, both Labour and UKIP also lost vote share. The LibDems and Greens and lots of independent councillors did well.
Tomorrow’s vote is clearly just about our relationship with the EU. You can’t read anything into it about local issues. So this is your best shot at communication with Westminster about the outcome you’d like to see. There are parties that support all those outcomes. Whether you’re all for no deal brexit, or an ardent remoaner or even just bored and hoping it will just go away.
There are quite a few of these, many of the parties don’t want to be seen as antidemocratic, so they overtly support brexit. Others have it as a clear reason for existing. Notably the Brexit Party and UKIP.
Vote for Brexit at all costs
If you favour Brexit at all costs then you really must vote for either the Brexit Party or UKIP. Don’t vote for these if you want a deal, or you have qualms about where funding comes from. Every vote for either of these parties will most definitely be construed as strong support for ‘no deal’ brexit.
Like Brexit, but need a deal? That’s where the Conservatives come in. They’re a bit split at the moment, but most of them still favour Brexit. The government will whip them to go for a deal if at all possible. Although they have been defeated three times. A good result for the Conservatives might encourage some of the rebels to support the government’s deal. Although at the moment that’s looking less likely…
The Labour Party are still officially supporting Brexit, although many of the members also support a second referendum on any deal before leaving. They also want a customs union, so their version of Brexit is less economically damaging than some of the others. However Labour aren’t in a position to make that happen.
There aren’t very many of these. Only the LibDems are explicitly for cancelling Brexit. Change UK and the Green Party are both pro-EU, but through a second referendum.
If you want to remain in the EU then you might want to think about tactical voting. There’s a group of pro-remain people that have crunched the numbers, and made tactical voting resolutions for each region. https://www.remainvoter.com/ For the South East of England (where I live) their recommendation is to go with Change UK, especially if your usual inclination is to vote for Labour or Conservative.
Vote Liberal Democrats
If you don’t want the UK to leave the EU there’s only one choice. The Liberal Democrats slogan is Bollocks to Brexit! A strong vote for them would send a crystal clear signal to Westminster. There’s a feeling among many remoaners that the only thing keeping MPs from stopping Brexit is the worry that they’ll lose their seat at the next election. If they thought more than half of the voters in their constituency supported remaining in the EU….
Vote Change UK
A new party, explicitly for a second referendum to overturn Brexit. Possibly a good place for people that traditionally voted either Labour or conservative but are disappointed at the pro-brexit stance of both those parties. A really good protest vote.
If you think Brexit is a major distraction from the real issue of the day, i.e. the environmental catastrophe about to overwhelm humanity, then you need to vote Green. On the matter of Brexit the Greens favour a second referendum and are pro-EU because they believe that concerted international action is needed to stem the environmental disaster that we’ve created. Very likely to get a seat in the South East.