Voters across the Midlands are set to head to the ballot box once more for perhaps one of the most bizarre elections in the entire history of British politics. Despite the result of the 2016 European Union membership referendum, in which the UK electorate voted to leave the EU, we have still yet to agree a withdrawal deal. That means we are still in for at least the time being - and therefore have to take part in next week's EU elections on Thursday, May 23. The elections will see candidates for each of the UK's regions compete for a place in the European Parliament, which plays a key role in deciding EU policy, rules and laws. If they win the ballots for, in our case, the East and West Midlands, they will become Members of European Parliament (MEPs). The Euro elections come less than a month after people in Burton and South Derbyshire voted in the borough and district council elections. Elections for the European Parliament use a different kind of voting system to the one employed in … [Read more...] about European Elections 2019: Who can I vote for?
Which party should i vote for
These elections were never supposed to happen. The United Kingdom goes to the polls today to elect Members of the European Parliament, known as MEPs. We were supposed to have left the EU by now. That would have meant the UK didn’t take part in this election. But Brexit has been delayed, and nobody knows for sure if it will ever happen. Perhaps that’s why this election is an unusual one. All the opinion polls suggest a party that didn’t even exist a year ago, the Brexit Party, will get the most votes. Of course, opinion polls can be wrong and it’s up to voters to decide who they want to support. The Brexit Party is firmly in favour of Brexit. And there’s also speculation that the parties that oppose Brexit might do well. They include the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party and Change UK. There are lots of important issues facing the country at the moment. But because these are European elections, it’s possible that many voters will think that Brexit is … [Read more...] about Who should I vote for in the European elections?
Who should I vote for in the European elections to get a pro-remain MEP? It’s difficult because there are so many pro-remain parties vying for your vote. The Lib Dems, Change UK, the SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Green party are all clearly in favour of staying in the EU. But the voting system means that parties need to get quite a high proportion of the vote in some regions to win any seats. The Greens managed to get an MEP on 9% in London last time but in the north-west the lowest-ranked successful candidate was the Ukip MEP with 29% of the vote. Obviously, the pro-EU parties would have a better chance of representation if they collectively agreed on a list of clear “remain alliance” candidates in each area. How can I vote tactically? The campaigner Gina Miller has launched a Remain United website showing which party has the best chance in each region. It suggests a vote for the Liberal Democrats in England, Plaid Cymru in Wales and the SNP in Scotland. The website says … [Read more...] about European elections: I’m pro-remain, how should I vote?
Local elections are taking place in most parts of the North East on Thursday, May 2. This is when we elect councillors, who make important decisions about local services. For some people, the elections will be an important test of how popular the parties and their leaders are. But others will be more interested in what they mean for vital services such as recycling, road maintenance and social care. Local councils also decide how much to charge residents in council tax each year. This guide will give you a rough idea what the different parties stand for. We’ve included the names of the party leaders and where they stand on Brexit - but of course, voters who feel these things shouldn’t matter in local elections are free to ignore them. Read More Local elections 2019 Conservative Party The Conservative Party, also known as the Tories, say they are the party of good quality services and lower council tax. They claim that they are better at managing people’s money than … [Read more...] about Local Elections 2019: Who should I vote for?
"Why do you wear a head scarf? How does a woman from Hong Kong end up becoming a politician in Northern Ireland? How did you survive the asylum system for 14 years?" In a dim room in Belfast arts centre The Black Box, dozens of people are sitting around small tables chatting one-on-one about race, religion and what it is to be human. It looks like a form of speed dating, with each person given 20 minutes to speak to a 'living book' - everyone from survivors of the Troubles to asylum seekers and new and old immigrants to the north. There's free tea and coffee and, more importantly, an impressive spread of buns. An organiser rings a bell to signal the start of each session and again when the allotted time is up. Some people can't bear to stop talking, others hug their 'book' or shake hands. One woman describes the experience as "overwhelming" and is on the verge of tears. "I really felt moved," she tells her book. "Thank you for talking to me." The participants … [Read more...] about ‘I went to get food… when I came back there was a war’