Monday, 8 June 2009

on a single list for Europe: 2009 results based on one constituency

Elections to the European Parliament are done by Proportional Representation (either STV or party list) as stipulated by the rules for all elections to the European Parliament across Europe. In countries such as Italy, Germany and Spain, parties (or party groupings) present a list to the electorate across the entire country and on the basis of this, seats are allocated to each party.

The rules do allow for subdivision of voters and here in the UK we have opted to subdivide by English regions and the principalities of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. What would the outcome of the 2009 European Parliament elections in the UK, had we adopted one list for the entire country?

Taking the results of the national vote from the BBC and using icon's Election calculus simulator the following results would be achieved:

As you can see (or not, sorry for the rubbish image quality) the Conservatives would be most disadvantaged by a countrywide list losing 4 MEP's based on their actual results last night, the Greens would gain by picking up an extra 4 MEP's taking them up to 6 with the BNP going up to 4 from 2. Interestingly, if a threshold were applied, a tool usually used to keep out extremist parties, the BNP would have gone up to 5.

Plaid Cymru would not have gained any seats, but the SNP would.

Things to note:

Germany uses a 5% threshold for EU elections

The figures do not include Northern Ireland which elects their MEP's using the Single Transferable Vote system

Had the Lisbon Treaty been ratified the UK would have 73 instead of 72 MEP's, which means excluding Northern Ireland an increase from 69 to 70 MEPs, if this were the case the Greens would gain one more seat without a threshold and UKIP with a threshold

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