In my column in this week’s Cornish Guardian, I focused the upcoming Euro-elections. It was as follows:
22nd May 2014,
voters will be going to the polls to elect Members of the European Parliament.
Mebyon Kernow has long campaigned for a separate MEP for
but, next year, six MEPs will be elected from a massive ‘South West’
constituency, via a list form of proportional representation. As well as Cornwall,
the seat will include Bristol, Devon,
Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset,
Wiltshire, and the .
island of Gibraltar
At this stage, it is very unlikely that Mebyon Kernow will be putting forward candidates.
The fact that Cornish voters make up a tenth of the constituency poses great difficulties for MK, which only contests local and
elections within Cornwall.
To get an MEP elected in such a ‘South West’ seat, the MK candidates would – based on past results – need to poll over 90% of the vote in
But if that wasn’t bad enough, other aspects of the electoral process are unfairly rigged against Mebyon Kernow.
To be allowed a party election broadcast, for example, MK would have to stand in all (nine) euro-constituencies in England – an absolute nonsense – whereas “regional” parties standing in the (single) Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland seats will be allowed their own broadcasts.
And in order to stand, a deposit of £5,000 has to be paid, but this money is returned if the slate of candidates achieves more than 2.5% of the vote across the whole of the “South West.” But MK would need to poll about 23% of the Cornish vote to simply save its deposit.
MK did contest the Euro-elections in 2009, which took place on the same day as the first-ever elections to Cornwall Council, thanks to donations from local party members.
the only area in which we campaigned – MK polled 11,534 votes (7% of the
total). Outside of Cornwall – where
the party did not campaign – it unsurprisingly averaged less than one quarter
of one percent (0.24%) and, therefore, across the constituency as a whole, MK
polled 1% of the total vote.
MK continues to challenge the Government and the Electoral Commission to acknowledge the inequity of the situation, arguing that the authorities had a moral obligation to return the £5,000 deposit to MK because of the number of votes achieved in
, but they
have so far refused to even consider the issue. Cornwall