Voting under way in European elections across Brighton and Hove

Posted On 23 May 2019 at 1:04 pm

Voting is under way in the European parliamentary elections, with a slow start reported at polling stations across Brighton and Hove.

Voters have just one vote – for a political party or an independent candidate – although each party can field up to 10 candidates for the 10 available seats.

Brighton and Hove is in the South East England constituency which appears on ballot papers as the South East Region.

Those elected will serve as Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) until Britain leaves the European Union (EU) – the process known as Brexit – or for a five-year term.

The Spearhead

A number of the 85 candidates on the ballot paper are from Brighton and Hove, with eight parties fielding the maximum of 10 candidates, a ninth party fielding two candidates and three people standing as individual independents.

Alexandra Phillips – known locally as Alex – has probably the best chance of being elected as the Green Party’s first choice candidate.

Councillor Phillips became the new mayor of Brighton and Hove yesterday. And once the results are known late on Sunday night or in the early hours of Monday, she may have to work out how to juggle two demanding roles.

The European Parliament does not formally sit again until July although the various political groups are due to start meeting again from next week.

Other Green candidates with local connections are fifth choice candidate Phélim Mac Cafferty, convenor of the Green group on Brighton and Hove City Council, and former councillor Ollie Sykes, who is ninth on the party’s list.

Former council leader Warren Morgan is the third choice candidate for Change UK, the party recently started by disaffected Labour and Conservative politicians.

Change UK’s first choice candidate is Richard Ashworth, who sat as a Conservative MEP from his election in 2004 until earlier this year.

The first two names on the Conservatives’ party list are sitting MEPs Daniel Hannan and Nirj Deva. Their eighth choice candidate is Clarence Mitchell, who stood for the Tories in Brighton Pavilion at the 2015 general election.

Labour selected two local candidates – Cathy Shutt, the party’s second choice candidate, former council leader Simon Burgess, the ninth name on the party list.

The sitting Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder is her party’s first choice again and another former Brighton Pavilion general election candidate, Chris Bowers, is sixth on the party list.

The Brexit Party list is topped by Nigel Farage, with another Alexandra Phillips as the new group’s second choice.

The other parties on the ballot paper are the Socialist Party of Great Britain, the UK European Union Party (UKEUP), which is fielding two rather than 10 candidates, and the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

Patricia Mountain, from Hove, is UKIP’s 10th choice candidate. None of the four UKIP MEPs elected in the South East Region five years ago are standing for the party in the constituency this time.

The three independents are Jason McMahon, David Round and Michael Turberville.

Polling stations are due to close at 10pm and the count starts on Sunday night once every polling station across the EU has closed.

Most of the results are expected to be known by breakfast time on Monday (27 May).

  1. Christopher Hawtree Reply

    There was a big turn-out in one South Portslade polling station early yesterday. An area to watch.

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