The EU Votes Explained
This year's European elections showcased a divided brexit Britain, and a minimal yet promising rise in female MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).
So it doesn’t take a mathematician to notice 286 women compared to 465 men elected to European parliament isn't exactly equal, but the amount of women in parliament is on the rise. This year we saw a small rise of 3% according to an analysis from the European Women’s Lobby for the Guardian. Although this could be because eleven member states have enforced a gender quota on their parties for the elections (this is up from 8 member states).
Cyprus was the only country who failed to elect any female MEPs, Slovakia elected a mere two out of its 14 MEPs (15%). Other female ratios include Greece, (23.8%), Romania (22%), Ireland (27%), and Bulgaria (29%), according to the preliminary results and across the EU, 85% of mayors are men. On the bright side six of the 28 member states smashed it with another year of a near gender-balanced group of MEPs to the parliament: Sweden (55%), Finland (54%), France (50%), Slovenia (50%), Luxembourg (50%) and the UK (47%), up from 41% in 2014..
In a message on twitter and facebook Gwendoline Lefebvre, the president of the European Women’s Lobby (EWL), proposed: “We now need to focus on the future of the European Union. We ask from the member states that they each propose two people for the role of European commissioner, at least one of them being a woman. It will offer more diversity of experience, background and perspectives to choose from and will benefit all people in Europe.” Women said to be in the running for a senior according to the guardian EU post include the former Danish finance minister Margrethe Vestager, the World Bank chief executive, Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. Joanna Maycock, the secretary general of the EWL (European women's lobby), said the group’s members would analyse the results at a meeting in a few weeks but called for the next European Commission to include a commissioner with responsibility for progressing women’s rights.
Female representation of roughly 39% in the EU is still superior to that of the House of Commons in London, where 32% of MPs are women (bear in mind that this is at its all-time high). The result nevertheless leaves the European parliament behind 16 parliaments around the world. The world's average for female representation in parliament is 24%. The parliaments with the highest representation of women in the world are Rwanda (61.3%), Cuba (53.2%), Bolivia (53.1%), Mexico (48.2%) and Sweden (47.3%).
Britain took part in the 2019 EU elections because of its delayed date of its exit from the EU which directly affected how the British public voted. The elections for the UK were mostly about who wants the leave the EU and who would like to remain, or at least hold another referendum. So depending on where you stand you might just be celebrating as the Brexit party march on to Brussels. Although one thing we can all cheer about is that female representation in the EU parliament is on the rise, Female MEPs (Members of the European Parliament).
Occurring once every five years EU citizens can get involved in one of the worlds biggest democratic event. The European Parliament is the chief legislative body of the European Union consisting of 751 members create the European Parliament and the politicians are selected all of the 28 member states.
The number of MEPs roughly line up with the size of their population – so France (74) the UK (73) and Ireland (11). With an increasing number of European politicians not embracing nondiscrimination, democracy and other open society values. The results of the elections will decide whether the union will be strong enough to tackle issues such rogue governments demanding economic subsidies while refusing to respect the human rights of their residents and citizens and as we all know Brexit.
But, how does the UK voting system work? and what do the votes mean about the UK's current political climate? The UK follow the D’Hondt system of voting. So the party with the largest number of votes in a region is allocated a seat. The United Kingdom is divided into 12 electoral regions - nine in England, and one each for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In total it will elect 73 MEPs. Parties give a list of candidates for each region, and voters select a party not an individual candidate.
So, as expected this year UK European elections were one big jaw drop as we shifted away from the countries usual two-party politics (Conservative and Labour) who remember vacuumed up 80% of the 2017 general election vote. The Conservatives turned in their worst electoral performance since 1832, as the elections came after conservative Prime Minister Theresa May failed to secure MPs' backing for her Brexit plan and announcing her resignation. Theresa May is also one of three of the 28 EU heads of government that are women.
Back in 2014, we had UKIP dominating the polls, a clear sign of euroscepticism well before the turmoil that is Brexit. According to the European Parliament Elections, there was a 37% voting turnout (the highest yet). Nigel Farage's Brexit party swept the polls, coming in top everywhere apart from London and Scotland. The Brexit party went around the nation rallying up the brexiteers who are ready to leave the EU after a long 3 years of negotiations.
Tories votes plummeted, and labour fell due to Corbyn sipping his tea on the Brexit fence although, after the polls, Labour leader Corbyn insists 'We're listening' and has repeated his call for a general election an a public vote on a deal with the EU. The “remain” side, however, the vote spread between several strongly pro-EU parties: the Liberal Democrats, Change UK and the Green Party. Although a proud moment for left-wing Lib dems as they collected 20% of the voters.
To summarize the outcome for who voted for who in the UK, Mr Farage's party won twenty-nine seats, the Lib Dems sixteen, Labour ten, the Greens seven, the Tories four, the SNP three, and Plaid Cymru and the DUP one each. With a country divided in a way we have never seen before, it's best you get your popcorn and sit back for some political warfare.