EU Elections: A guide to the parties and candidates

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Who is standing in your area and what does it all mean for Brexit?

The EU Elections are a week away, on the 23rd of May. The UK will elect 73 members to Brussels, with 7 of them standing in the West Midlands. With the Brexit withdrawal agreement deadline having been pushed back to October 31st, the UK will have to stand in the elections.

MEP’s are elected via proportional representation. This means that the amount of votes that a party gets will be translated into seats in the European Parliament. In simple terms, the party puts forward 7 candidates to the 7 seats available.

But who is standing, and what does each party hope to achieve with their candidates?

Change UK

Change UK are one of two new parties standing for election. They were formally known as The Independent Group and are primarily comprised of former members of both the Conservatives and Labour. Their campaign manifesto is based on unequivocally remaining as a member of the EU.

The seven candidates:

Stephen Dorrell
Charlotte Gath
Peter Wilding
Amrik Kandola
Joanna McKenna
Victor Odusanya
Lucinda Empson

Conservative

The Conservative Party have been pragmatic about their chances in the elections, and are the only party not to have held a campaign launch, with party chairman Brandon Lewis said to have told candidates at a meeting last week that if “You are not already an MEP, you aren’t winning.” Polls seem to suggest that many Brexit supporting voters will use the opportunity as a chance to protest, by sending their votes elsewhere.

The seven candidates:

Anthea McIntyre
Daniel Dalton
Suzanne Webb
Meirion Jenkins
Alex Phillips
Mary Noone
Ahmed Ejaz

Green

The Green Party are running on a pro-remain manifesto, as MP Caroline Lucas was one of the instigators of the people’s vote movement. The Climate Change movement is also a big concern for the Green’s, one of which they will be lobbying the EU members to recognise.

The seven candidates:

Ellie Chowns
Diana Toynbee
Paul Woodhead
Julian Dean
Louis Stephen
Helen Heathfield
Kefentse Dennis

Labour

The Labour Party has based it’s manifesto on the perceived failure of the Conservative government to get its Brexit deal across the line. Jeremy Corbyn has outlined plans to tie the countries divided political system back together, claiming that Labour are the only party capable of doing so- whether you voted leave or remain.

The seven candidates:

Neena Gill
Sion Simon
Julia Buckley
Ansar Khan
Zarah Sultana
Sam Hennessy
Liz Clements

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have outlined a vision for Britain that sees the country remain at the heart of a dynamic European Union. They argue for the UK to lead issues at the heart of the EU and aims to be part of an entrepreneurial, prosperous, sustainable and united Europe.

The seven candidates:

Phil Bennion
Ade Adeyemo
Jeanie Falconer
Jenny Wilkinson
Jennifer Gray
Beverley Nielsen
Lee Dargue

The Brexit Party

The second of the two new parties, Nigel Farage’s Brexit party, have a clear manifesto; get Britain out of the EU. According to early polls of voting intentions, they have a chance of decimating the number of Conservative and Labour candidates getting seats.

The seven candidates:

Rupert Lowe
Martin Daubney
Andrew England Kerr
Vishal Khatri
Nikki Page
Laura Kevehazi
Katharine Harborne

UKIP

UKIP has a short manifesto; it completely opposes a second referendum on Brexit and wants a unilateral and unconditional withdrawal from the European Union. It remains to be seen whether The Brexit Party will hamper the chances of UKIP picking up votes, given the similarities in their intent and the leadership of Nigel Farage.

The seven candidates:

Ernest Valentine
Paul Williams
Graham Eardley
Paul Allen
Nigel Ely
Joe Smyth
Derek Bennett

The campaigning continues for all the candidates, but it remains to be seen just how many of them will be successful.

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