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European Elections in the East Midlands
20 Apr, 2019

The first European Parliamentary Assembly first met on 19 March 1958 and on 13 May 1958 it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality. 

Every 5 years since 1979 voters in Lincolnshire have had the opportunity to elect Members of the European Parliament. Speaking at the "Youth for Europe" rally on 2 June 1979, Grantham born Margaret Thatcher said:-

None of us can practice isolation or neutralism and hope to live in safety. Only if we pool our resources and share in each other's strength will free Europe survive. Only if we speak together can we expect the world to heed the voice of Europe. The new directly elected European Parliament will be one expression of that voice. Let us ensure that the Voice of Freedom speaks with firmness and courage and imagination to a troubled world. 

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

The next elections are due to be held across Europe between 23 May and 26 May.  A total of 751 MEPs currently represent more than 512 million people from 28 member states. The UK has 73 seats. If a Brexit deal is not agreed beforehand, the UK will take part in elections on Thursday 23 May 2019.

Lincolnshire is part of the East Midlands constituency of the European Parliament.  The constituency also covers the counties of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. 5 MEP's are elected 5 MEPs using the d'Hondt method of party-list proportional representation. The system was explained during the 2014 European Parliamentary Elections by the BBC:-

Turnout in the East Midlands for the European Elections in 2014 was 32.6%.

The following MEPs were elected in 2014 in order of votes received for their party (most to least):

Roger Helmer: UKIP
Emma McClarkin: Conservative
Glennis Wilmott: Labour
Margot Parker: UKIP
Andrew Lewer: Conservative

In 2014 with a breakdown of votes per party, 32.9% of votes went to parties whose manifesto explicitly stated a pledge to leave the EU.

Since 2014 the following MEP's have stood down; Andrew Lewer (2017), Roger Helmer (2017), Glennis Wilmott (2017)

The current MEP's are:

Jonathan Bullock: Brexit Party 
Emma McClarkin: Conservative
Rory Palmer: Labour
Margot Parker: Brexit Party
Rupert Matthews: Conservative

The MEP's all belong to various European Parliamentary Committees as shown on the European Union website

For the first time, EU Nationals living in the UK will have a choice of either voting in the UK elections or the elections in their home country. Those who wish to vote in the UK elections must register to vote by 7 May 2019 and must also complete a separate form stating they wish to vote in the UK and not in their home country. 

Further guidance on how to register is available from www.yourvotematters.co.uk