UK MEP results

Not only did Labour fall below 20% (as the early returns I referenced last night suggested), it barely cleared 15%. It was the UK Independence Party that came in second.

The Conservatives won the plurality, but not much for them to crow about: 27.7% of the vote and 25 seats–which is 36.2%, for a really high “PR” advantage ratio of 1.31.

The biggest gainer in votes within the UK was the Green party (+2.4%).

Table of results by party at BBC (excluding Northern Ireland).

3 thoughts on “UK MEP results

  1. It seems that, even without an elected Upper House, the Mother Country has re-invented what its rebellous colonies call “mid-terms” or “half-Senate elections” – ie, a chance to kick the governing party in the backside without actually electing the opposition to replace it.

  2. ‘Gordon Brown will today promise an elected House of Lords and open the door to electoral reform as part of a sweeping package to “clean up politics” after the MPs’ expenses scandal…. There is a growing consensus in the Cabinet for a switch to an Australian-style alternative vote (AV) system, under which people mark the candidates in order of preference. The bottom one drops out until one enjoys majority support. But the Cabinet is unlikely to endorse the Home Secretary Alan Johnson’s call for an “AV-plus” system of proportional representation, under which between 100 and 200 MPs would be elected in line with the votes cast on top of those chosen in constituencies by AV.’ – Andrew Grice, “PM looks ahead with electoral reform plan,” The Independent (10 June 2009).

    ‘As Mr Cameron knows, such a level of distrust is a fissile and dangerous force in a polity. He can, of course, win power by focusing on a handful of swing voters in swing seats. As he is now talking of capturing 140 new seats, the targeted voters (whose names and addresses all lie on the new Tory supercomputer) may amount to a full 1 per cent of the electorate. That is still a tiny proportion of the voting public, and wooing them is scarcely the same as fixing what the Tory leader has called Britain’s “broken politics.” But why would he want to fix a system that will guarantee him power?
    Westminster’s first-past-the-post system intrinsically stops new parties from disrupting and disturbing the old duopoly – as the Social Democratic Party found to its cost. This leaves the discontented and disgusted with two options: abstention or mass tactical voting. The anger stoked by the expenses scandal could translate into either. It could yet yield a larger majority than Mr Cameron ever thought possible.

    ‘I am told that Erith and Thamesmead, with a Labour majority of 11,500, has just been categorised as a Tory target seat. If it fell, a Tory majority on a par with Blair’s Labour landslide in 1997 would be on the cards.

    ‘But a government elected by riding a tsunami of protest votes can be swept out by the same force. Countries can get into the habit of kicking out parties ever more rapidly. Scotland, for example, is now on its fourth governing party in the space of 12 years. There is no doubt that saying “send a message to Brown” will guarantee the largest Tory victory. But the absence of a clear and positive pro-Tory message is still the biggest danger in the Cameron project.

    – Fraser Nelson, “This is a constitutional crisis. Dave dare not blow it,” The Spectator (13 May 2009), p 14.

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