Some mathematical Euro-elections thoughts

Friday, 22nd May 2009 at 8:00 UTC 3 comments

For those who haven’t realised, the Euro-elections don’t work by ordinary “highest vote wins” methods. Instead, a group of seats are divided up between the parties, who must declare an ordered list of candidates in advance, there lead-candidate being the first to get a seat if they have enough votes. This means that in Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, where 6 seats are contested together, 3-5 parties will most likely share out the seats.

The system works by means of a normal counting process, after which all the party totals are taken and a series of “rounds” occur. In each round, the parties vote is divided by 1 + the number of seats they have already won. In round 1, all parties have no seats, so its just a case of who has the most votes who wins the seat.

Then a second round occurs, but the party who won the seat in the first round has their total vote halved. Unless they have a clear double the votes of the second party, this means someone else will get the seat in this round.

In the third round, both parties to have won the previous rounds will have their vote halved, but at this point its likely a party which already has a seat will win, and in subsequent rounds, their vote will be a third of their total in round 1.

In order for the BNP to be beaten in our region, then any of the following situations must occur:

  1. The Tories or Labour must get a clear 3 times the number of votes the BNP receives, and the other must get a clear double, and the Lib Dems or Greens must beat them on raw totals.
  2. The Tories and Labour and the Lib Dems must all get double the BNP’s number of votes.
  3. The Tories and Labour must get double, and the Lib Dems and Greens must get more than the BNP’s vote.

It is almost impossible to conceive of a situation where only 2 parties will take seats. The Lib Dems must therefore beat the BNP. People must therefore vote Lib Dem. But the Tories and Labour must definitely both get 2 seats a piece, which means lots of people must vote for both of them. But its also unlikely that only 3 parties will share the seats. So people must also vote in sufficient numbers for the BNP to be shoved into 5th place overall. This requires people to vote for 4 different parties. Actually, this means that a vote for UKIP could save us! (Shhh, I didn’t say vote UKIP, really, honest!)

In the Northwest, with 8 seats, this becomes even more of a problem, and the Greens are basically predicting they will be the only party left with enough vote share to beat the BNP in round 8. The BNP could very easily take seat 7 or seat 8 if the Greens and UKIP don’t both poll better than them. Labour and the Tories must take 3 a piece and Lib Dems 2 or a 4th party will take a seat. If none of the three main parties manages better than 2.9 x the BNP vote, the BNP stands a huge chance.

What I’m trying to get at here is that drowning out the BNP vote in these elections, as is the only real option barring disqualifying them, is something like 4 times harder. And with the current political fiasco in motion, it’ll be nail biting as to whether we survive the night of the 4th June without seeing racism on the ascendency the next day. So at the end of the day, the message is simple: vote sensibly, vote Labour, Tories, Lib Dem or Green, and if you must vote against Europe, vote UKIP.


Entry filed under: democracy, Elections, Europe, Participation, Party Politics, Politics, Racism.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lois  |  Friday, 22nd May 2009 at 19:14 UTC

    Having had publicity come through the door from most of the parties standing (Tory, Labour, Lib Dem, Green, Ukip, BNP), I have (reluctantly) to say that the best one is the Conservative one. It’s almost the only one I’ve seen which actually talks about Europe (other than just saying we should leave it) and almost the only one which talks about policies rather than just attacking the other parties. Although there was a fair bit of that too. Not that I’m going to vote for them. Especially since they got my housemate’s name wrong (having sent a leaflet to everyone on the electoral roll, on which the name is correct!).

  • 2. Greg  |  Friday, 22nd May 2009 at 20:41 UTC

    Well done Lois :p

    I’ve not actually got anything from either the Tories or Labour. I got a personalised one from the Lib Dems, and the house got generic leaflets from UKIP and the BNP.

  • 3. Lois  |  Friday, 22nd May 2009 at 21:25 UTC

    I did say I wasn’t voting for them Greg!


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