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Why Voting in the EU Elections is Important

European ParliamentElections will be held in the UK for the European Parliament on Thursday 23rd of May. That will be the case unless the PM Theresa May gets her deal through the UK Parliament and Brexit takes place.

You must be registered to vote by midnight on the 7th of May 

Information about how to register to vote on this link: Register to vote

Who can vote?

You must be registered to vote and also be one of the following:

  • 18 years of age or over on polling day
  • a British citizen, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen, or a citizen of the European Union
  • resident in the UK
  • not be subject to any legal incapacity to vote

For EU citizens living in the UK they can vote for a representative in their ‘home’ country (contact electoral authorities in their ‘home’  country) or they can use their vote in the UK. To do this EU citizens have to fill in a separate form and send it to their local authority by the 7th May  of 2019.

European Union Citizens Registration Form 

Link for EU citizens living in Northern Ireland 

Scotland

You have 1 vote. Scotland is one ‘region’ and your 1 vote will be added to all the others. Political parties will have a list of candidates and the number of MEPs elected for each party will be based on the number of votes cast for that party in the whole of Scotland.

There may also be individuals standing.

Scotland has 6 MEPs and at the time of election they  were:

  • SNP – Ian Hudghton
  • SNP – Alyn Smith
  • Labour – David Martin
  • Labour – Catherine Stihler
  • Conservative – Baroness Nosheena Mobarik CBE
  • UKIP (at the time of being elected) – David Coburn

This voting system is the same for England (60 MEPs divided up into regions) and Wales (4 MEPs)

Northern Ireland (3 MEPs) has a different system where you vote in order of preference (1,2,3…)

Why should I vote?

The last EU elections in the UK  were in 2014 – the turnout was 35.4%. In Scotland it was even lower – 33.5%.

The electorate in Scotland who could have voted numbered  4,016,735. The number who did vote numbered 1,345,667.

EU elections 2014

No matter what you think about all the various ways of voting in our elections,  this is an electoral system where your 1 vote does count because it is added to all the others cast in Scotland for which ever party you choose to vote for. There is no such thing as a ‘wasted‘ vote – please do not allow anyone to persuade you of that.

In this election you will be voting for a political party – each party will have chosen who it has on its list. Find out what these parties are saying, ask questions of them and what policies they stand for.

You may think why should I bother if we are leaving the EU?

  1. If the elections take place it means we have not yet left so it is important that your views continue to be represented in the European Parliament
  2. Scotland is one ‘region’ – the EU elections define who will be representing not just you as an individual but the nation of Scotland.

Reporter: Fiona Grahame

5 replies »

  1. EU ELECTIONS

    As things stand it looks as if we will now take part in the European Elections in May. In elections past these have sadly been marked by very low turn-out primarily driven by an incompetent and misinformed campaign against the EU by certain metro-centric red-tops, you all know which ones.

    I’m not going to reprise all the lies, misinformation and election fraud that took place leading-up to the EU Referendum but the EU is not the monster that some xenophobic Tory and Labour MP’s and their anti-European media makes it out to be. Sure the EU has its faults but think of this, many, if not all, of these faults have been endorsed by our very own Ministers and Government at Wastemonster who had ‘CONTROL’. This was especially so with the Tories who have never been slow to trade-off their support in return for some of the more dubious ploys allowed in the Financial Sector, with the biggest trade-off being our fishermen.

    Back in a day in 1973 when we were about to join the European Economic Community (EEC) I well remember the SNP, National Conference voting, almost unanimously to reject membership of the EEC as we saw dangers for our farmers and especially our fishermen. A position we held for many years but in those intervening years, we saw that there was more good than bad and in particular the consensual way of doing business in the Parliament instead of the adversarial way of Wastemonster. A Parliament that has been broken for years and never has this been more obvious than over the last few weeks but fixing that is for another day.

    So, with the EU Elections now a very strong possibility can I ask all of you who are unfamiliar with the exact workings of the EU Parliament and its Institutions to take a little time to find out for yourselves and not to rely on the flood of misinformation and outright lies that very soon will be filling the pages of those papers indicated above, and I would also include among those a paper with close ties to the Tory Party. I would also point out that it was our own Highlands and Islands MEP, Dr. Winnie Ewing, that among the many other things she did for us, was that she was a prime mover of the Erasmus Education Project that so many of our own young people have benefitted from by being able to study abroad over the years thereby increasing their employment options.

    Note: This letter also appeared in the Shetland Times of Friday 12th April

    Like

  2. To quote someone I know……….

    “Elections… weren’t supposed to be happening, so I suppose there will be a last minute scramble to organise it. Given the unholy mess, it wouldn’t surprise me if the whole process is cocked up. Brexit fecks it…”

    Let’s hope not.

    Like

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