Winners and losers in the European elections

With most of the votes counted, four parties emerge with gains of more than 1% – Greens ( plus 2.5%), BNP (plus 1.4%), Conservatives (plus 1.2%) and English Democrats (plus 1.1%). Two parties have losses of more than 1% – Labour losing 7% and Lib Dems losing 1.1%.

UKIP added little to last time. 21 parties failed to score more than 0.5%. Yes2Europe polled 0% or 3,000 votes.

So what can we make of all this?

It proves that PR drives more people to extremes.It shows that it leads to a huge fragmentation of parties, as more and people set up parties to express their view but fail to get their message acrosss, or fail to adopt a popular message. It leads to laziness by traditional party campaigners – local homes in my area were only contacted by the Conservatives and UKIP, with nothing from Labour or the Lib Dems.

The Lib Dems came out of their preferred voting system particularly badly, despite help from the BBC to boost their chances. Although we were told they were less affected by the expenses saga, that is not how it came across in the Telegraph. They always suffer in Euro elections from their enthusiasm for all laws European and their wish to transfer ever more power to Europe and to bogus regions.

Those who want to pull out of the EU immediately had another bad night. Parties espousing that cause could only marshall about one fifth of the popular vote. They did manage to keep the Eurosceptic vote split. Those who want more Europe had an even worse night, as the majority opinion was Eurosceptic.

The commentators are concentrating on what it means for Mr Brown. It looks as if it means he staggers on, because his critics can wound but cannot kill him politically. As one said this morning, the results are so bad few Labour MPs will want an election any time soon.

The headline for the EU as a whole is a big win by the centre right. I take no joy from that. The so called centre right, the continental winners, are all parties that want more European laws, regulations and centralised power. They all want to do things that will make Europe less prosperous and less free. I am just glad my party today is fully detached from them. At last we have a full complement of Conservative MEPs all elected on a ticket which expressly rejects their federalism. What we need is a European Parliament that slashes the power and spending of the great bureaucracy, repeals laws and gives powers back to member states. Instead What we have outside the UK is more of the same, business as usual for the political class of Europe.

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68 Comments

  1. Kevin Lohse
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Amen to all that. Now when is the Prime Minister in waiting going to fulfil his promise and give the Nation the right to decide as to where it’s sovereignity will lie?

    • pipesmoker
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      Charles Clarke has been noticable by his absence?

  2. Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    How really refreshing to read a clear, honest summary of the election results. Yes, yes yes!
    The problem is this:
    We all want the, sometimes good, sometimes bad ideas pouring out of the Commission looked at carefully before they are tossed carelessly into Law.
    Who should do this?
    At the moment, nobody seems to.
    The European Parliament should be reorganised along British/Irish lines, with real scrutiny and real discussion.
    The English Parliament (both houses) should be run by people who listen, who discuss and who think before they make law, as it used to be before New Labour changed it.
    Instead, at the moment, we seem to have a small, unelected clique at No 12 Downing Street which makes laws by fiat.
    I suppose it is slightly better than Philip of Spain or Suleyman the Magnificent……

  3. Michele
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    We’re tired of the analysis and tired of the posturing. Yes we care about politicians expenses but anyone who thinks this is our first concern is nuts.

    Pretty much everything the British people are fed up with leads back to europe.

    Yes we are fed up with a leader who can’t do maths but we are more annoyed that most of what comes our way is dictated to us by another body.

    Politicians say that they are listening and yet what we get fed back shows they are not.

    The rise in BNP and UKIP support has come about because of europe.

    • Waramess
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      This post hits the nail firmly on the head and until the political parties wake up to it they will not have the hearts and minds of the British people

    • pipesmoker
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely spot on. There is a conspiracy of silence amongst the three major parties to ignore the elephant in the room but sooner or later the question of our membership of the EU will have to be addressed?

      I could not bring myself to vote BNP but the looks on the faces of Dimbleby, Toynbee, McShane and co were a joy to behold.

      • APL
        Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        pipesmoker: “sooner or later the question of our membership of the EU will have to be addressed?”

        It better be sooner. Later, the people who used to be subjects of the Crown will find they have to fight to carve their own country again.

        • pipesmoker
          Posted June 9, 2009 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          I am still a proud subject of the Crown and refuse to accept that I am a citizen of Yurup.

          I believed in the 1960’s were there to be the prospect of a communist government in this country the forces of the Crown would enter parliament and take the place over.

          I consider that this treachery over the EU has gone too far and can only be stopped in the end by the military on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen?

        • Michele
          Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          Back at Christmas I predicted to a close friend that there would be civil war in my lifetime. You only have to look at what happened in Yugoslavia and closer to home by the formation of Scottish and Welsh assemblies, to know that people want their own identity.

    • jean baker
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      It seems Labour flouts EU rules when it suits their ‘self serving’ interests. No other EU country ‘spies on’ their citizens to the extent of Nulabor oppressors. The extent to which they are out of touch with decent, ordinary citizens is reflected by the all recent results.

  4. Andy
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I normally find you particular honest and forthright in your analyses, but I think this is a little disengenous, and is dangerously close to spin:

    “Parties espousing that cause could only marshall about one fifth of the popular vote”

    One fifth sounds pretty small. 20% doesn’t.

    If 20% of the population want a total withdrawl from Europe, that is significant. If swine flu were found to be killing 20% people, it would be a brave man who said “swine flu is only lethal to a fith of the population”.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Labour got less than 16%!

    • A. Sedgwick
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree, but for UKIP providing a spine to Cameron & Co, we would have the wishy washy Blair2 approach. All opinion polls I have seen have a majority out of the EU Federal State, but the will of the people will probably be ignored when the first past the post election comes within 12 months. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.

    • jean baker
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Statiticians, justifiably, use either a fraction or percentage. It’s as rational in your “swine flu” example to forecast that ‘four fifths’ or 80% of the population are unlikely to contract the virus. The panic at the outbreak led many to believe far more than a fifth of the population would be adversely affected.

      Those who think logically automatically convert one fifth to 20% and vice versa.

      If ‘one fifth’ of the population want a total withdrawal from Europe, four fifths (80%) would have no grievance over Labour depriving voters a choice. Poll results suggest ‘the aggrieved’ to be far in excesss of one fifth – 20%.

      • Andy
        Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        It was use of the word “only” that I objected to. The politics (in my comment) was secondary to my complaint about abuse of statistics and English. “only” seems to me to be a classification that is perjoritive and dismissive of quite a significant number of people when applied to a 20% opinion. “only” 1% would have been justifiable.

        Since that 20% was given as the proportion of full-pull-out people, when added to the trade-and-movement only group, I’m quite sure it adds up to more than 50% as you say.

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I do not advocate PR but don’t accept your claim that: “It proves that PR drives more people to extremes”. It may allow the election of parties other than the main three at Westminster but just why and how does the system “force” people to vote for “extremes”? If I may say so, this shows scant regard for the views of the electorate. The really disturbing thing is the low turnout. This is not surprising because the operation of the EU is anti-democratic and as you wrote there is almost no election information from most of the participating parties. People have little idea who their MEP is or what they do on their behalf. They are, however, aware that the EU juggernaut will roll on regardless of the wishes of the people.

    • jean baker
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      It proves highly expensive PR is no substitute for true, democratic process, full and open debate.

      The British have the democratic right to vote on the Lisbon Treaty; Labour’s treachery/oppression on this issue alone is reflected in the poll results.

  6. Jonathan
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    UKIP lost votes in the East Midlands, where they did particularly well last time round and where Robert Kilroy Silk was standing, and made up ground elsewhere in the country.

    If the election really was about expenses, then surely UKIP are the worst of the lot in that department, with Kilroy-Silk taking our money and doing absolutely nothing for it, Ashley Mote jailed for benefit fraud and another one being investigated for money laundering?

    • APL
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately Jonathan, this is par for the course in the EU ‘parliament’. MEPs are there only to give a patina of democratic legitimacy, the real decisions are made by the European Commission.

      In order to keep the European ‘Parliamentarians’ docile, they have money thrown at them.

      It is a tactic adopted by the executive in the UK Parliament over the last ten years.

      It is part of the reason you will see that a vote for Cameron’s Tories will not change the essential thrust of policy one atom.

  7. Stuart Fairney
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    I am glad the tories finally reject federalism, but being a small grouping in a large parliament is the height of futility and strategically they can achieve nothing as the bulk of even centre right parties oppose this, as you yourself concede.

    As for UKIP’s “bad night” they of course gained as many seats as the tories and came second in a fragmented popular vote, so the message, (such as it is) is surely, re-orgainse our membership of the EU within a parliamant and if that does not prove possible, withdraw and trade with the EU as Norway or Switzerland does. Indeed, such a mandate would give teeth to the negotiators! I am heartily sick of being in a corrupt pan-european organisation whose accounts don’t pass audit ever. You have a keen financial mind JR, Would you invest in a company with such a track record whose accounts were never signed off? Clearly not, why then invest your country’s political future?

    For me, the worst result was the turn out, of the 40M electorate, the winning conservative party could only muster 1 in 10 and the government could only get 1 in 20 people to support it’s Euro vision. This surely shows a total disengagement between people and politicians.

  8. TheCogitator
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    So the Lib Dems had help from the BBC did they John? So are you saying that you think that the BBC are biased? I think you are aren’t you?

    I am glad about that because they’re a corrupt left wing institution who are simply the in house news and PR service for the liberal left and Labour in particular.

    What I would like to know from you John Redwood is what are you going to do about it? I’ve heard enough posturing and comment from Conservative Politicians about the BBC.

    The new Conservative Government must take action to deal with this problem.

  9. APL
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    JR: “It proves that PR drives more people to extremes.”

    Absolutely wrong.

    PR drives people to extremes! Really what nonsense. By the way I am no supporter of PR either.

    And your statement illustrates exactly what drives people to extremes and it is this: Politicians when they are given a lesson in democracy, deliberatly draw the wrong conclusion.

    The vote for the BNP, if that is what you are refering to, is not a result of PR it is a result of stupid politicians who have spent the last fifteen years ignoring what the general population want. That is what drives people to vote for extreme parties.

    The local council elections have been run on the ‘usual’ fptp system, Labour took a drubbing there too. Did the FPTP system ‘drive people to extremes’ there too?

    JR: “It shows that it leads to a huge fragmentation of parties, ”

    Good god! Supposed democrat doesn’t like democracy. Where now the Tory mantra of ‘Choice’?

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you as you will see above. I think John might be suffering from sleep depravation.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted June 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I meant to write deprivation.

    • jean baker
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Do you likewise hold the view that “all teenagers are vandals” ?

      If you would care to read John Redwoods blog in it’s entirety, you will perhaps understand why the electorate voted for ‘democracy’.

  10. backofanenvelope
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    You say:

    “Those who want to pull out of the EU immediately had another bad night. Parties espousing that cause could only marshall about one fifth of the popular vote.”

    Only.

    The Tories got 29% and the anti-EU got 20%.

    If only your party had come out and said that there would be a referendum on the Lisbon treaty come what may!

  11. Glyn H
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Well I voted UKIP, and until Giles Chichester ‘my’ MEP explains where he spent £400,000 on expenses through his private company – specifically against the rules but ‘exonerated’ (as if that means anything in EU speak) I shall not come back.

    The BNP? – Those who are shouting foul the loudest have been calling for ‘fair votes’ these many years. Are not the EU elections so based? People have a right to be heard even if you disagree; its called democracy. But it shows the value of 1st past the post voting.

    And then the woman person on Today said Gert Wilders in the NL is controversial – for calling a spade a spade? I think Gordon Brown is a controversial politican whose authoritatrian instincts and desire for state control all but evil. And his personality traits so vividly exposed during his ill fated premiership make him quite unsuited to the role.

  12. Adrian Peirson
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    We are a country and a people under foreign occupation and against our will.

  13. Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    UKIP came 2nd in a national election – I think that’s very significant. The Conservatives are still in favour of membership of the EU and I believe the majority of us want out completely.

    • Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Do you really think so? What about the trade which we already do there? (I am NOT arguing the disputed figures.)
      Wouldn’t it be better to be like Switzerland or Norway and then concentrate on the Anglosphere where we all believe the same thing?

      • Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        I thought the EEA was separate from the EU – but yes I agree. I’d like to see more emphasis on trade with the Commonwealth too.

  14. DennisA
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Precisely what we don’t need is a European Parliament, we have one of our own which needs to work properly. A trading group, fine; a legislative body with authority over our own, No Thanks.

    • Michele
      Posted June 9, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree.

      The normally tory or labour voter, who voted UKIP this time, did so because they think UKIP will keep the legislative nonsense in the news.

      Why can’t they see this?

      John Redwood, what noise are you going to make about this? come on!!!!!!

  15. Posted June 8, 2009 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    And what is wrong with more & more people setting up parties most of which, naturally, fail to get their message across. It’s called free competition. If we had a system whereby everybody was expected to use only products from really big organisations it would be called British Leyland. It is the artificial barriers to entry to people with new ideas that make British politics so awful.

    If you genuinely think that free market principles should dominate in electricity generation (ie nuclear) or that racial mass murder & worse is wrong (ie what we have done in Kosovo & the rest of Yugoslavia) you simply cannot say so while in the big parties. One can join & keep quite for about 30 years, hoping to get to the top when you can do something – I think the disadvantages of such a system are obvious. Public dissatisfaction is also obvious.

    Reply: Yes, I am all in favour of choice, but those setting up parties need to have some understanding of what the public wants

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      What is the point of understanding what the public wants but failing to act on that knowledge?

      About 70% of the electorate want a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. A similar proportion want out of Afghanistan. 70% or more want immigration stopped or reduced.

      The 3 main parties know all this but just ignore it. It is not leadership to just say “you’re wrong!”

      • Posted June 8, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        I’m sort of arguing against myself here but there are occasions when a leader’s job is to say the public shouldn’t get what the polls of the day say. Afghanistan, whatever is done should not be done looking at the polls. Perhaps we should not have gone in when it was popular. Perhaps we should come out now, particularly if, as I suspect, bin Laden is dead, but it shouldn’t be because today’s polls say so.

        John I’m also going to disagree with your point. Democracy is not served by only having parties offering the same old. Perhaps most small parties are vanity projects but vanity publishing has produced an admitedly small number of breakout books which the big publishing houses had rejected. If not all flowers can bloom it is still in society’s interest that they all get a chance to hence no or low barriers to entry.

        Reply: I am not suggesting we should stop them or limit them, merely pointing out that PR leads to extremes, single subject parties, and many parties that are not going anywhere.

        • backofanenvelope
          Posted June 9, 2009 at 5:31 am | Permalink

          I find it difficult to believe that we can be committed to a 30-year war that is not supported by 70% of the electorate.

  16. Disorganised1
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    For me the results throughout England show a clear desire to distance ourselves from a federalist Europe.

    Many years ago a lot of us voted in favour of a trading relationship with Europe, since that time this has been taken by Parliament as a mandate to integrate ever more closely with our trading partners.

    It is time for another referendum, the only question is what the options on it should be. Should we withdraw from the EU ? Should we remain in the EU and continue to agitate for better representation ? Or should we integrate fully with Europe ?

  17. Mark M
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Dan Hannan believes that these results mean there is actually now going to be a credible Eurosceptic opposition in the EU. Let’s hope they can muster themselves together to make the EU an effective parliament.

    I’m not entirely opposed to Europe. I do, though, oppose the EU as it currently stands. Here’s hoping change can come.

  18. Publius
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    I am so tired of being told by the BBC and others that I voted UKIP as a protest against the expenses scandal.

    No! I voted UKIP because I want Mr Cameron to understand, loud and clear, that I want the Conservatives to reject the EU Constitution and take (not ask for) our sovereignty back.

    I will vote Conservative in a GE. But I will give Mr Cameron the benefit of the doubt on the EU only once.

    UKIP came second. Yet still the BBC sneeringly refers to UKIP as a fringe party. Will you never listen?

    • andy dan
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

      I agree with this post completely; my UKIP vote was a message to Cameron, though I doubt he’ll get it.

      As for PR, I live in an area of South Wales where it’s a standing joke that if you pinned a red rosette on a donkey, people would vote for it. PR gave me a feeling that my vote almost counted for something. Look what FPTP has given us for the last 11 years! Italy may have had umpteen governments since the War, but it’s still got its own car industry.

      • adam
        Posted June 9, 2009 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        an illusion

      • APL
        Posted June 9, 2009 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        Andy Dan: “I live in an area of South Wales where it’s a standing joke that if you pinned a red rosette on a donkey, people would vote for it.”

        Kinnock used to be my MP. Now this so called socialist fancies himself my lord. Next, his wife thinks that because she and her family have spent the last twenty years (living off ed) the EU system she is a Lady.

        If ever there was a reason to abolish the Lords, the fact that Kinnock and his wife will be sitting there is it.

  19. Toque
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    With the exception of the Greens all those parties advocate an English parliament (of some variety).

    BNP – ethnic English parliament
    UKIP – dual mandate English/UK parliament
    Tories – English parliament for First, Committee and Report stages.

  20. MarkE
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I’m not so sure this result “proves that PR drives more people to extremes”. BNP are cerrtaily extreme, but I doubt there is much an average Conservative could disagree with in UKIP’s manifesto for example. One thing PR does though is to give other parties, outside the cosy duopoly, some chance of being heard. Despite a handfull of candidates I can support (including you John), I could not vote Conservative at the next election (and Frank Field alone couldn’t persuade me to vote Labour). My vote will therefore be wasted; I shall go to the trouble of registering, completing and returning my postal vote (Brown’s stewardship of the economy means I currently work overseas, so I can’t just stroll to the polling station), and the most I can hope to achieve is that UKIP might keep their deposit in Witney as the incumbent MP is as safe as possible. I believe the EU is an important issue, but my MP doesn’t; I believe the least government is the best government, but my MP doesn’t; My politics are capitalist/libertarian, but my MP isn’t (my MP is Cameron for those who are interested). Under PR my vote might carry a little more weight.

  21. michael mcgrath
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    There is a great deal of huffing and puffing about the election of two BNP members.

    Surely this result exposes the folly of proportional representation as it allows extreme parties to enter the legislature. Once in, they can “sell” their votes to larger groups on close fought issues and later exact a return in the shape of support for items on their own, possibly odious, agenda

    • Posted June 8, 2009 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      I took the trouble to listen to Wodz Nick on video. He was a brilliant speaker who simply read out a list of government provisions for immigrants. They needed new cookers, new toilets, a TV, a carport, gold plated taps……
      He had a big point.
      On immigration he has a big point too – William Hague tried to get elected on this very topic.
      The poor old pink working – or rather not working – class has had the mucky end of the stick from government people who despise and hate it.
      Hazel Blear’s cruel remark that she went to Grammar School and became a Cabinet member, while her brother went to Secondary Modern and was just a bus driver says it all really.

  22. Acorn
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Alas, the results of this national opinion poll (Euro Election), will be long forgotten by the time of the next general election.

    Nobody I met outside the polling station, had a clue about who represented what on the Euro ballot paper; they picked from the names they recognised out of the fifteen options.

    One lady complained that the ballot paper was too long to spread out on the shelf of the British standard voting booth. A young lady said there wasn’t enough room to underline the names she wanted in the box, but I think she was pulling my plonker. NewsBiscuit sums it up really:-

    http://newsbiscuit.com/2009/06/08/eu-voters-deliver-damning-indictment-of-complex-issues/

  23. Posted June 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    To illustrate my point here is something about the arrogance that brought down General Motors:
    “neither General Motors nor any other American automobile manufacturer was making convertibles. “The American public doesn’t want ragtops,” I was told.

    Really? I wanted a convertible. But Detroit had decided that I was wrong. So I bought a Fiat Spider 2000, fire-engine red. I loved it. I eventually sold it to a friend, who still treasures it.

    I began to realize that the Detroit automobile manufacturers assumed that they had a perpetual market for their cars in the American public, and they could sell us just about anything they decided to offer.”
    http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2009/may/16/ben-bova-farewell-pontiac-arrogance-doomed-you/

    In the same way the political elite tell us that the British public doesn’t want a party that wants out of the EU, or to cut immigration, or a substantially smaller state, or nuclear power, or scepticism about catastrophic warming or punishing criminals or a growing economy. Well lets have some real competition depending on votes not what the BBC referee decides.

  24. Cliff.
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    The winners last night were UKIP and us.
    The greens did well and the BNP had a real breakthrough. I can only imagine how many seats the BNP would have won had there not been a media bias against them….It really does not bare thinking about. I wonder if the NUJ will now have to alter their policy not to report things about them that show the BNP in a good light.
    The losers were, obviously Labour and, regarding the scenes outside Manchester City Hall, British democracy. Thugs that attempt to stop the election process through violence and intimedation are always wrong whether of the extreme right or, as was the case last night, the left.
    Whilst switching between Sky and the BBC’s coverage of the elections and their reactions to the BNP’s victories, I thought about the election of Hesbolah in Palestine and how the west withdrew funding because the people of that region voted for the wrong party. Mr Boulton, a journalist I normally hold in high esteem, conducted one of the most hostile, biased and inappropriate interviews that I have ever seen. On the BBC, Nick Robinson, a journalist I have never thought much off, was almost shaking with rage because a section of the public made the “wrong” choice.

    The lesson that we need to learn from this is that in a democracy, sometimes we may get results we do not like. I have just lived through a period of eleven years with a government I find I have nothing in common with but, that is the nature of democracy is it not?
    We also need to ask why a sizeable number of voters felt the need to votr for extremists, I suspect that people are more against the EUSSR project than our mainstream political leaders care to admit.
    The main parties, especially ours John, need to openly discuss all things that concern the electorate, even if it is not PC to do so. It is only through open honest debate that subjects such as imigration, crime, climate change, our broken society and the whole question of Europe can be resolved.

    I feel we made a real tangible breakthrough in Wales last night and we can be rightly proud of that.

    One can only speculate how big our share of the national vote would have been had our vote not had to be shared with UKIP.

    Two final points; There seemed to be a large number of “rejected” or spoiled ballot papers right across the country, what are your thoughts on that?

    Finally, I was somewhat concerned, whilst casting my vote here in Wokingham, that the serial number of my ballot paper was recorded against my name by the officials that gave out the ballot papers. Who might have access to such information in the future, given our government’s liking for databases?

    • SJB
      Posted June 9, 2009 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      In a tv programme transmitted several years ago, a former special branch (“SB”) officer stated that these arrangements – matching the registration number on the counterfoil to the ballot paper – allowed SB to draw up a list of people voting for ‘extremist’ parties. The example given in the programme was where SB was allowed access to the pile of ballots cast in favour of the National Front. I suspect the same method was used in NI elections to identify Sinn Féin supporters.

  25. Brian E.
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    I believe this election must force the Conservative party’s hand. Are they going to continue to allow unelected Commissioners to make 80% of British Laws, or are we going to be responsible for our own destiny?
    You say parties wanting to pull out of Europe had a bad night because they only got about a fifth of the vote. However in a General Election, anything like this number voting for UKIP could take enough Conservative votes to allow Labour in yet again.
    I think that the Conservative Party has some very serious thinking to do.

    Reply: We do have to assume that Eurosceptics are not foolish enough to vote in a General Election in a way which gives us yet another federal majority!

    • Brian E
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      I’m not convinced that you are right. Not long ago I attended a UKIP meeting and I was surprised at how many members, whom I assumed would natural Tory supporters, actually hated the party. This goes back to Edward Heath, whom they believe to have been a traitor to this country, and they are thus unlikely to return to support the Tories until they are very clear as to where Cameron stands on Europe.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted June 9, 2009 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      If a Tory government wins the next election – how will it differ from this one as far as the EU is concerned? As someone wrote earlier, the only vote we have been allowed was the one in 1975, when we voted to stay in the Common Market. It was, of course, a Conservative prime minister who lied to us about our eventual destination.

      Reply In 1975 we had a Labour PM who led the campaign to stay in

  26. steves
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    sorry John

    but a party who’s main purpose in life was to withdraw from the Eu came second? how is that bad for the parties that want to withdraw

    2 of the parties that grew by a large amount the leftist BNp and the english democrats are eu withdrawlists hows that a bad for the position

    its just a shame that two socialist parties greens/tories gained a share of the vote, it would have been better if all federalist parties had lost out

    Reply: Only around one fifth of the electors voted for parties wishing to pull out, so the federalists will now say it is a minority position. They want to keep the Eurosceptics divided, and are doing so.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      John,
      It seems that it is you who is keeping the Eurosceptics divided by dismissing the significance of the 20% vote. The Conservatives are Eurosceptics aren’t they? You are allowing your fear of the UKIP vote in the general election to colour your analysis. Have you considered that many voted UKIP to keep you on the Eurosceptic road?

  27. Frank Wilman
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Please could you explain your statement that: “Those who want to pull out of the EU immediately had another bad night”. It seems to me that they had a very good night.

    Why did they do so well?

    Because whether you like it or not a great many British people do not want to be in the EU. Whether it is actually a majority that want to pull out should be tested in a referendum and whatever the outcome you should abide by it. Whether it is the “right” decision doesn’t matter – under a democracy it should be the people’s decision and you should abide by it!

    Promise a referendum on this and you will win the next election and there will be no reason for anyone to vote UKIP or BNP!

  28. cheshireboy
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    The suggestion that the “preferred system” of the Lib Dems is closed listing, non-transferrable and counted by d’Hondt is either misleading or ignorant.

    The Lib Dems favour STV.

    You should know that.

  29. Adam Collyer
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    The question really is whether there is a Eurosceptic position available within the EU. On the continent there is absolutely a federalist consensus. Christian Democrats, Socialists and Liberals in almost all countries favour federalism. As Jose Manuel Barroso said yesterday, “Overall, the results are an undeniable victory for those parties and candidates that support the European project”.

    You rightly say you want to “slash the power and spending of the great bureaucracy, repeal laws and give powers back to member states” but the EU will never do that because most people in most EU countries actually support the federalist project. So we in the UK need to get off the fence and either get properly involved or pull out. There is no middle way available. There never was and never will be. The delusions of grandeur of elected Westminster politicians who pretend to govern whilst deferring to Europe beggars belief.

  30. Posted June 9, 2009 at 12:20 am | Permalink

    [PR] leads to a huge fragmentation of parties

    This is a good thing, as it leads to more choice. Under FPTP voters effectively have to choose between Labour and the Tories. Anyone who supports UKIP, Greens, Lib Dems, BNP, English Democrats, etc, is effectively disaenfranchised, as is everyone who doesn’t live in a marginal constituency.

    The Lib Dems came out of their preferred voting system particularly badly

    That’s not true, and you know it. The Lib Dems favour STV, not regional party lists, a fact that you know full well.

  31. Publius
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. I thought *you* were a “Eurosceptic”. Have you changed your mind?

    I want a common market, which is what I voted for. But I do not want a Eurostate. What is so extreme about that? To call such a position extreme surely plays straight into the hands of what you call the “federalists”.

    Reply: Please read what I said. I oppose strenuously all the moves to political union

    • Publius
      Posted June 9, 2009 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Actually I just read your subsequent post, where you have made your position clearer. So yes, and apologies.

  32. adam
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    it is only an EU election, utterly meaningless.

    UKIP can do nothing from within the EU to achieve their objectives. There is no point voting for them in european elections.

    • APL
      Posted June 9, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Adam: “UKIP can do nothing from within the EU to achieve their objectives. ”

      Quite right. But no other grouping can achieve anthing from within the EU, the Parliament is a sham.

      Adam: “There is no point voting for them in european elections.”

      The European Elections are pointless. They are a fraud.

      But yes there is a point. And it is that it a frequent illustration to the Tories that they could pick up another 20% of the voting population if they would just come out with an unambigious EUroskeptic position, just like that! (clicks fingers)

  33. Michele
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t the tories clearly state where they stand on europe and what they would propose to do for the British people if they were elected?

    Take out a page spread in the telegraph and tell us, once and for all.

    • Adrian Peirson
      Posted June 13, 2009 at 5:14 am | Permalink

      You already know where they stand, trust your instincts.

  34. Adrian Peirson
    Posted June 9, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    It’s really very simple, the Surrender of our Soveriegnty was and still is Illegal, the Generals should kick the door in on No 10 and Westminster.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

    Promoted by David Edmonds on behalf of John Redwood both of 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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