Tag Archives: european elections

Daily View 2×2: 8 June 2009

2 Big Stories

This morning’s two big stories are being combined by most of the newspapers: the European election results and what they mean for Gordon Brown’s leadership of the Labour party.
From the Guardian:
European elections: Brown faces leadership battle amid Labour meltdown and BNP success

Gordon Brown today faces a make-or-break challenge to his leadership after Labour looked set to slump to just 16% of the national vote in the European elections and the far-right British National party won two new seats.

In a devastating result for the prime minister, Nick Griffin, the leader of the BNP, was elected to the

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European elections: rolling results news

National vote share projections (BBC): Con 27% (n/c), UKIP 17% (+1), Lab 16% (-7), Lib Dem 14% (-1). Although not all regions yet in, looks extremely likely that the party will get the same number of MEPs elected as it had going in to the election.

South East: Sharon Bowles re-elected and joined by Catherine Bearder. (Emma Nicholson retired at this election.)

East Midlands: Bill Newton-Dunn also set to be re-elected.

London: Sarah Ludford re-elected.

Wales: Conservatives do indeed top the poll. Lib Dems miss out on our first ever Welsh MEP by just 2%.

Scotland: awaiting figures from Western Isles, but Lib Dems set …

Posted in Europe / International, Events and News | 84 Comments

Euro election results ’09: Sunday night open thread

A mere 72 hours after polls closed on 4th June, the parties and candidates contesting the 72 UK seats available for the European Parliament will know their fate later this evening. Let’s remind ourselves what happened five years ago, in 2004, when these seats were last up for grabs:

Conservatives: 27% (27 MEPs)
Labour: 23% (19)
Ukip: 16% (12)
Lib Dems: 15% (12)
Greens: 6% (2)
BNP: 5% (0)
SNP: 1% (2)
Plaid: 1% (1)
N. Ireland: 3 MEPs (1 each for DUP, Sinn Fein, Ulster Unionists)

What will happen this time? Will the Tories do better under David Cameron than they did under Michael Howard? Will Labour retain second …

Posted in Europe / International and News | 3 Comments

LDV election prediction competition: what you’ve said so far

On Tuesday we published our Lib Dem Voice competition to predict the results of the local and European elections taking place today, 4th June, and win a copy of LDV’s own annual, The Tangerine Book, and a limited edition LDV mug. The thread is here, and, to date, we’ve received 14 entries from LDV readers (who may or may not be Lib Dem members).

Here’s the average of what you’ve so far predicted:

1. Predict the Liberal Democrat share of the vote in the European elections. YOU SAID: 16.5%
2. Predict the turnout in the European elections. YOU SAID:

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Video: Nick Clegg on the European Elections

Nick Clegg gets a lot of questions via Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Friend Connect, as well as through his website, NickClegg.com.

He’s just made a new YouTube video with answers to some of the questions he’s received through his social networks:

What does Nick think of compulsory voting? The Lisbon Treaty? Watch and find out:

Posted in Europe / International, Online politics and YouTube | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

A final look back at the Euro polls

Today is (in case you hadn’t realised) polling day – for much of England that means local elections, for everyone it means European elections – which means it’s our last chance to look at the polls for the Euros, and try and make some sense of them. There have been 11 polls in the last month asking voters to say which party they’ll choose on 4th June:

Here they are in chronological order:

>> Con 37%, Lab 22%, Lib Dem 19%, Ukip 7%, Green 4%, BNP 4%, Nats 5% (YouGov certain to vote, 10th May)
>> Con 34%, Lab 25%, Lib Dem 20%,

Posted in Polls | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Reasons to vote Liberal Democrat

The Voice has covered the succession of positive reasons to vote for the Liberal Democrats given in recent days by The Observer, Polly Toynbee, The Guardian and The Independent, so it seems only fitting to top that list today with a reminder of the party’s own choice of words (from europe.libdems.org.uk):

The European Parliament election is a big choice for Britain.

Labour’s arrogance has messed up Britain’s relationship with other European countries

The Conservatives and UKIP think that on its own Britain can face the economic storm, climate change, international crime, people-trafficking and terrorism

Liberal Democrats know effective cooperation creates prosperity – more

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The Independent backs the Liberal Democrats

Less surprising than the news from The Observer and The Guardian this week, but nonetheless a welcome leader today:

Only the Liberal Democrats have consistently put the case for Europe, doing so even when seeking to hold seats in parts of the country, such as the south-west of England, that are more euro-sceptic than others. Like his recent predecessors, Nick Clegg is unequivocal in his support for the EU. A strong vote for his party would show that parts of the electorate recognise the importance of Britain playing a positive role at the heart of Europe. On that basis alone the

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Daily View 2×2: 4 June 2009

Today is polling day, which means scores of Lib Dems across the country will be having an exhausting day from Good Morning leaflets before dawn right through to election count verifications beyond midnight.

Good morning!

We’ll be reminding people of the all important facts about the electoral process:

  • You do not need your polling card to vote (but it might speed things up a bit if you have it)
  • Polls are open from 7am to 10pm
  • If you had a postal vote, but haven’t returned it yet, don’t put it in the post, but take

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Who’s winning the expectations battle?

If there’s one thing which worries most party bosses before an election, it is how they manage media expectations of the results. For it is how the media reports this Thursday’s election results which will by and large determine whether the voting public believes the parties have achieved or failed.

Yesterday, PoliticsHome published its Phi100 Panel results of what a select group of politicians, journalists, think-tanks and bloggers think will happen on 4th June. You can see their findings here. I highlight it because it set some alarm bells ringing in my mind that the Lib Dems are being …

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LDV election prediction competition: what will happen on 4th June?

Just two days left ‘til polling day in what for many will be a double-election, with local elections taking place in much of England, and European elections being held across the UK. So what better time than now to launch our election prediction competition?

First let’s remind ourselves of the current state of play.

Local elections: Anders Hanson here on LDV has given a very useful synopsis of what to look out for, and which councils/mayors are up for re-election this Thursday. The last time local elections were held in most of these areas was on the same days the …

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Guardian endorses Lib Dems in Euro elections (more or less)

Following the endorsement of its sister paper the Observer and its leading columnist Polly Toynbee, the Guardian editorial today all-but formally recommends its readers vote for the Lib Dems in this Thursday’s Euro polls:

The case for supporting the Liberal Democrats is now very strong. Anyone who believes Britain should be an engaged member of the European Union – who does not believe scare stories about the Lisbon treaty and who wants to back a party that campaigns on this – should vote Lib Dem. So should anyone who cares about constitutional renewal. Nick Clegg’s party has ancestral

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Daily View 2×2: 2 June 2009

2 Big Stories

Expenses ‘mistake’ hangs over Darling
The Financial Times reports that not even the Chancellor himself is blameless in the MPs’ expenses controversy:

Alistair Darling’s future as chancellor was looking precarious on Monday after he admitted making “a mistake” over his expenses and Gordon Brown refused to say whether he would be in his job in 10 days’ time.

Mr Darling yesterday paid back £668 he wrongly claimed and apologised “unreservedly” but speculation was growing at Westminster that he could become the first chancellor in postwar Britain to be demoted in the middle of a recession.

Three things must ye know about …

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Polly Toynbee: vote Liberal Democrat

Things are indeed achanging in the Guardian Media Group. Sunday say The Observer unequivocally urge its readers to vote Liberal Democrat for the first time. And now Polly Toynbee is urging a vote for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections and in many local elections too:

Throw out bad councils, and vote for Lib Dems in Europe
The most consistently wise party on Europe, never flirted with Tory press populism, but that principled stand came at a high price. On the economy or crime co-operation, “stronger together, poorer apart” is a good Lib Dem pro-EU slogan. They best deserve

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Daily View 2×2: 1 June 09

This morning’s headlines had me singing into my hairbrush:

“My my, at Waterloo Napoleon did surrender
Oh yeah, and Brown will meet his destiny in quite a similar way…”

Faced with a whole legion of bother (MPs’ expenses, this week’s elections, constitutional and electoral reform and rumours of a leadership coup) the Prime Minister marches into a critical week:

2 Big Stories

And yet:
Cabinet revolt won’t force me out, declares Brown
Today’s Independent reports Brown’s determination to stay on as PM and speculates on his plans to reshuffle the Cabinet:

Labour MPs return to the Commons in a grim frame of mind today after the half-term

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Opinion: Strange bedfellows?

As a Liberal Democrat supporter currently residing in Warsaw, Poland it is with great interest that I have read David Cameron will be in my adopted home town tomorrow to launch with Czech and Polish partners, a new right-wing group in the EU parliament. It is well documented that Cameron pledged to withdraw the Tories from the centre-right EPP grouping but as can be seen from this weekend’s Guardian this is not altogether a popular decision amongst senior Tories.

The Tory party has long made itself irrelevant on European issues – but what bothers me so much is that the …

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Have you got your virtual window poster up?

Window posters have a key role to play in many winning Liberal Democrat election campaigns because the more likely people think we are to win, the most likely they are to vote for us. Seeing lots of their neighbours displaying posters helps raise that credibility.

The online equivalent is to change your Facebook profile photo, Twitter avatar, instant messaging picture (and so on, depending on which services you use).

There’s a graphic below you can use. Just save it to your computer and then use it to change your profile picture / avatar / icon. You may have seen it spreading quickly already …

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The Observer says: vote Liberal Democrat

From today’s leader:

Nick Clegg is the most instinctively European leader at Westminster. That is currently a lonely position, but the Lib Dems have a decent record of taking minority stands that are later vindicated. On the environment, on civil liberties and on the mounting debt bubble, the Lib Dems were quietly but consistently ahead of the Westminster curve.

Likewise on transparency. In 2007, they opposed the Conservative move, tacitly encouraged by Labour, to exempt Parliament from the Freedom of Information Act. The Lib Dems alone took a party line for openness…

While MPs from all parties are tainted, the parties themselves

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Get the party’s European manifesto on your iPhone

The party’s manifesto for the European elections is also available as an iPhone app. If you have access to an iPhone or iPod touch you can view it. Go to apps store and search for Liberal Democrats. The app is free.

And don’t forget, you can also get the party’s TV broadcasts (PPBs) using our iTunes feed.

Posted in Europe / International, News and Online politics | 1 Comment

In five minutes: where we stand on Europe

There’s been a flurry of news about other parties today, so to balance things up a bit, here’s a reminder that you can find our case for voting Liberal Democrat in the European elections in a handy five minutes or so summary over on our European manifesto site. It starts:

The Liberal Democrats will work through the European Union to ensure:

  • A stronger economy, more jobs and more opportunity for businesses
  • More action to stop climate change and protect the environment.
  • More criminals are caught, such as terrorists, gangsters and paedophile networks, and our civil liberties are upheld.

Britain’s Liberal Democrat MEPs play a

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UKIP and BNP having trouble with facts

We’ve brought you plenty of news about the BNP’s electoral efforts in the past few weeks – how there’s nothing British about the BNP; how they falsely implied a Guardsman was a supporter when he most definitely is not; indeed how all of their listed supporters are actually just stock photos; and how they can’t count.

Now it’s the turn of UKIP to struggle with actual numbers.  Their deep pockets have paid for dozens of billboards across Britain’s cities, many emblazoned with Winston Churchill and the catchy little factoid that the EU costs Britain £40million a day.

Just two little problems with that.

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Lib Dem MEPs’ ‘reform and transparency’ rankings

Ahh, the European elections – those of you who’ve been paying especially close attention to the news in recent weeks may have caught a nano-second of coverage of the issues which will be decided by voters across the EU next week.

If so, you might have come across an analysis by the Open Europe think-tank – more about whom here – who this week published a ranking of all 785 Members of the European Parliament, scoring their record on promoting transparency and reform in the EU over the last five-year term.

The criteria Open Europe used for their scoring system are published here, and you can view the full Excel spreadsheet of all MEPs by clicking here. We’ve extracted the information relating to the UK’s 11 Lib Dem MEPs (out of 78), as below:

  • (4th out of 78) Ms Diana Wallis MEP UK Liberal Democrats, score = 42 (out of a maximum 60)
  • (6th) Ms Fiona Hall MEP UK Liberal Democrat = 40
  • (9th) Ms Liz Lynne MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 39
  • (12th) Mr Andrew Duff MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 38
  • (12th) Mr Bill Newton-Dunn MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 38
  • (18th) Ms Elspeth Attwooll MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 37
  • (23rd) Mr Graham Watson MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 36
  • (28th) Mr Chris Davies MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 35
  • (48th) The Baroness Ludford MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 29
  • (53rd) Ms Sharon Bowles MEP* UK Liberal Democrat = 28
  • (66th out of 78) The Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne MEP UK Liberal Democrats = 23
  • * Sharon replaced Chris Huhne on his election to the House of Commons in May 2005.

    It is, I guess, to our group’s credit that more than half their number appear in the top 20. It’s certainly a relief to know that no Lib Dem MEP appears in Open Europe’s list of “MEPs arguably ‘Unfit for public office’”. However, two Tories and two Ukippers do make the EU-wide list of eight named and shamed:

    Mr Ashley Mote MEP – United Kingdom – Independent, elected as Ukip
    In 2007 Mote was convicted of 21 charges of benefit fraud84 for falsely claiming for than £65,000 in benefits. He was given a 9 month prison sentence, which he served, but because it was less than 12 months he was allowed to return as an MEP.

    Mr Giles Chichester MEP – United Kingdom – Conservative
    Giles Chichester paid more than £400,000 in European Parliament office expenses into a company of which he was a director.

    Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

    Lib Dems tackle UKIP head on

    On Monday, the Lib Dem’s chair of Communications Edward Davey wrote to the leader of UKIP Nigel Farage MEP to challenge him on failing to publish his own expenses, on the disgraceful voting record of his European Parliamentary Party, and on the shameful track record of his fellow parliamentarians.

    “UKIP MEPs have attacked others over their expenses while living the high life in Brussels, charging the taxpayer, and hiding the true cost from voters.

    “One in six UKIP MEPs elected in 2004 has since faced criminal charges over their creative accounting. Meanwhile, UKIP turned up in the European Parliament to vote

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

    A look at the Euro polls to date

    We’re mid-way through the campaign for the European Parliament elections – though, as yet, discussion of Britain’s role in the EU has not been the, erm, dominant story. But, still, there have been five polls to date in May specifically asking for the public’s Euro voting intentions, so let’s check out what they’ve been saying:

    Here they are in chronological order:

  • Con 36%, Lab 25%, Lib Dem 20%, Ukip 7%, Green 4%, BNP 4%, Nats 4% (YouGov all naming party, 10th May)
  • Con 37%, Lab 22%, Lib Dem 19%, Ukip 7%, Green 4%, BNP 4%, Nats 5% (YouGov certain to vote, 10th May)
  • Con
  • Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

    European Parliament uses social networks to promote elections

    The Eurovision Song Contest was last night but, Eurovoting and Eurovisual fans, you can still get your entertainment fix. (You’ll have to bring your own music though):

    From The Register:

    The European Parliament is treading bravely into the world of social networking in order to get the kids involved in the exciting world of European politics.

    Bureaucrats have created profiles on popular social sites including Facebook, MySpace and photo sharing site Flickr. There will also be ad-word campaigns and banner ads on MySpace.

    Elections run from 4 to 7 June, and the primary purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of those dates as well as improving young people’s understanding of the European Parliament and the work of MEPs.

    A YouTube channel has also been created.

    The YouTube channel includes a short series of videos called “At the polling station” – these major on the speed and ease of voting, rather than the purpose or politics of the European Parliament. Short and almost non-verbal, they seem to be aiming for viral appeal. The “screaming” one is a bit much, though.

    On the other hand, anything featuring both pedals and polling stations gets my vote:

    Posted in Europe / International and Online politics | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

    The BNP supporters who don’t really exist

    From Newspeak:

    The current leaflets feature a section titled “Why we’re all voting BNP” with photos accompanied by a bit of text, presumably this is to encourage people to think BNP voters are just like you. Unfortunately for the BNP none of these voters are real and you can prove it by using web-based reverse image searches.

    Rather unfortunately for the *British* National Party, it looks not only as if none of the people are real supporters, but several of the photos are most likely of people who are not British. Ooops.

    UPDATE: The Telegraph has more.

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

    Unlock Democracy with VOTE MATCH

    I was at the Vote Match European Election launch held at Apple’s palatial showroom on Regents Street this past Monday, drawn by the special guest appearance of Stephen Fry. Appearing in a tuxedo and bow tie, he did not disappoint as he opened with an apology for the rest of us being under-dressed for the event.

    What I hadn’t expected was to discover that the collective consciousness of the 200 or so guests in the audience, on answering the 30 specimen questions by democratic show of hands, managed to produce a Liberal Democrat voter!

    Following the success of Vote Match London …

    Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

    Conversations with Nick Clegg, part deux

    If you missed it last night, fear not! The latest Lib Dem party election broadcast is yours to view via the magic of YouTube, below – in fact, why watch it just once?

    Posted in Lib Dem TV | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

    Shock, horror! Lib Dems to fight Euro elections on pro-Europe platform

    The Lib Dems did something today that the party hasn’t explicitly done in a long time: it launched its campaign for the European elections focusing on the positive impact of British membership of the European Union.

    Non-Lib Dems might casually read that sentence and shrug bemusedly – the Lib Dems are a pro-European party, they’ll say, of course the party’s going to campaign on a positive pro-European platform. If only it were that simple.

    Too often in the past, the party has cowered behind its EU credentials, afraid our views will deter ‘soft Tories’ from casting their vote for us (especially, though not solely, in the south-west).

    We’ve fought past Euro elections on Iraq and the NHS – anything in fact to avoid mentioning too loudly that we’re a proudly an internationalist party which believes the European Union is a force for good. In need of reform, yes – the CAP is a scandal which shames the whole of Europe – but the EU remains our best hope of dealing with issues which transcend national boundaries, from terrorism to recession, climate change to crime.

    It’s always been a bizarre strategy, this attempt to draw a veil over the Lib Dems’ pro-Europeanism.

  • The public already knows we’re the most pro-European of the mainstream parties: staying schtum and hoping to distract them is not going to persuade them otherwise: it just makes us look embarrassed, as if we can’t actually mount a defence of our party’s views.
  • It differentiates us from all the other parties, mainstream and fringe. Labour, at least post-Blair, is at best lukewarm about Europe, and far more interested in shoring up its core vote than in putting forward a progressive vision of how the UK can deliver for the British people as part of a reformed EU. Meanwhile, the Tories, Ukip, Greens and the BNP are all hostile to the EU to a greater or lesser degree. Just as Ukip garners votes from Europhobes across all parties, there’s no reason why the Lib Dems couldn’t also persuade pro-Euro Labour and Tory voters to plump for the Lib Dems in protest at their own parties’ desertion of internationalism.
  • We believe in it! Of course, there is a vocal minority within the Lib Dem membership who – in spite of or because of their belief that internationalism can solve national problems – disdain the EU. But the vast majority of the party is passionately pro-EU, with the bigger arguments being over how it can be reformed, not whether it should be. There are some issues so fundamental to liberals that we should campaign on them no matter how risky they seem. Europe is one of these.
  • It is reassuring, therefore, to hear that this time it will be different, that the Lib Dems’ 2009 campaign for the European Parliament elections will put forward the pro-EU case. As Jonathan Calder notes on his Liberal England blog:

    Willie is promising a very different Euro campaign from the ones the party has fought in the past. He said that the other day a Guardian journalist phoned him and said: “I’ve heard an outrageous rumour that the Lib Dems are going to fight the European elections on Europe.” It seems that rumour is true.

    The sceptical will note (as Simon Titley did here on LDV) that last week’s Party Election Broadcast – ostensibly for the Euro and local elections – didn’t mention either Europe or the work of Lib Dem councils.

    But there has been evidence this week at least that the party is gearing up for the campaign. Yesterday, for example, The Independent reported the party’s intention to turn up the heat on the Tories’ anti-Europeanism:

    Nick Clegg will attempt to dispel suggestions that he is forging closer links with David Cameron by placing the Tories’ controversial policy on Europe at the heart of the Liberal Democrats’ election campaign. The Lib Dem leader will claim this week that the Conservatives threaten to turn Britain into a “safe-house for criminals” by planning to withdraw from European cross-border policing agencies.

    And today’s official launch of the party’s European election campaign was a staunch defence of the benefits to the UK of working with our European partners. I’ve copy ‘n’ pasted the full party press release below, with its signature line:

    Only the Liberal Democrats know how to provide security, jobs, and a clean environment by leading in the European Union.”

    At long last, it seems, the party is embarking on a European campaign which puts the Lib Dems at the heart of Europe – so let’s just rejoice at that news.

    Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

    The problem with poll cards

    Crossposted from The Wardman Wire

    Millions of pounds have been spent in total in recent years in the UK on testing various forms of electronic voting, in the hope that this might raise turnout in elections. The overall verdict across different technologies – such as voting by SMS or online – has been remarkably consistent: it’s expensive, not very reliable, of dubious security and, above all, has almost no impact on turnout levels.

    It’s easy to see how the idea of using modern technology has caught the eye and budget of decision makers. But with the emphasis on the high-tech, boringly …

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

    Recent Comments

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      Ian, I expect the conclusions of the committee will not be so different to those of Nick Harvey in Liberator magazine. He wrote: "The most...
    • User AvatarMartin 20th Feb - 11:26pm
      Ian: I cannot disagree with your first point, agreeing to an election did require some naive assumptions about Farage and the Brexit party. However your...
    • User AvatarPeter Watson 20th Feb - 10:57pm
      @TCO "No, TCO is referring to independent research " No, TCO is referring to an article in The Independent then misrepresenting a quote from the...
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    • User AvatarMary Reid 20th Feb - 10:29pm
      @Cllr Mark Wright - interesting point. Thank you.
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      TCO -As you hide behind anonymity I have no idea what your experience of running elections is (for my part I ran my first in...