Realist, not conformist analysis of the latest financial, business and political news

MEP Elections – EU Rules Protect Incumbents

Despite the fact that we shouldn’t need to by now, we may soon have to vote for some MEPs.

At which point it is worth having a look at how that election actually works:

The UK votes in 12 regions, each covering 3-6 million people. A seat is allocated per roughly 1m of population.

The vote is for a party not an individual, and seats are allocated to the parties that get the most votes. Obviously Parties give their allotted seats to their favourites first.

We send our MEPs to Brussels, and they form pan EU “Political Parties” i.e. alliances with other like minded national parties with attached “EU Political Foundations”. Those alliances are then funded by the EU, apparently to the tune of Euros 130m a year (or roughly 150k per MEP). Which includes money that can be used to fight the next election.  Funds are allocated based on the number of affiliated MEPs.

Looking at the 2014 results with a low turnout you needed to get over 120,000 votes to get one single seat.  Overall £10m was declared as expenditure, so £150k per available seat (plus all the “free” background support given to dodge the rules).

Having thought about the above for all of 5 minutes one can work out the following –

  • Local or county level issues will not make a dent
  • You need to cover a very large % of a region in order to get a seat
  • Successfully putting up for election requires a lot of money
  • Only large parties with deep pockets that can field a lot of candidates stand a chance
  • Getting onto the EU MEP gravy train means being top toady for such a party
  • Established parties with existing EU funding streams have an advantage
  • Independents don’t stand a hope in hell

The EU has built a set of rules that protect existing big parties, encourages no one to rock the boat, and provides very high barriers of entry to new entrants and disrupters. Pretty much the entire EU model for everything as it leaves the bureaucrats in charge.

Anyway, vote for the Brexit Party.  MEPs don’t have any power anyway so it might as well be Farage’s toadies that get to lick up the gravy rather than the current crop of leeches and charlatans, and at least it’ll be a laugh.

L67/244 et seq

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