Euro vote to be done by post
Published May 20th 2004 in Hucknall Today

VOTING in Hucknall and the rest of the Dispatch district for next month's European Elections is to be by post, instead of at polling stations.

The experiment, which was announced exclusively in the Dispatch last year, is being carried out in a bid to increase voter-turnout and to help more disabled and elderly people have their say. Ballot papers are due to be sent from next Tuesday to everyone eligible to vote. They should then be returned, by post, by 10 pm on election day (Thursday June 10), with Royal Mail advising that ballot papers should be in the post no later than Tuesday June 8. Alternatively, from June 1, you can take your vote to a special 'assistance and delivery point', details of which will be on your ballot paper. The votes will be counted on June 13, in line with other European countries.

The Hucknall and Bulwell area is part of the East Midlands constituency, in which six seats are up for grabs. The seats are currently held by two Labour Euro-MPs, Mel Read, who is stepping down, and Phillip Whitehead, Conservative duo, Roger Helmer and Chris Heaton-Harris and Liberal Democrats Bill Newton Dunn and Nick Clegg, who is also stepping down. Eight parties and 44 candidates are contesting next month's election in the East Midlands.

The three main parties — Labour, Conservative and the Liberal Democrats — are all fielding six candidates. Six names have also been put forward by the British National Party, the UK Independence Party, spearheaded by ex-TV presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk, the Green Party and Respect – The Unity Coalition. Two further candidates are standing as Independents.

Voting is by the proportional representation system whereby a party puts forward a list of names with its strongest candidates at the top. The voter chooses a party, not a candidate, and the parties receive a number of seats proportionate to the votes it receives.

For instance, in a constituency with ten Euro-MPs, if a party gets ten per cent of the vote, it wins ten per cent of the seats – ie one, who would be the first person on its list. If a party gets 20% of the votes, it wins two seats, the first two names on the list. The full list of candidates in the East Midlands reads:
CONSERVATIVE — Roger Helmer, Chris Heaton-Harris, Pauline Latham, Sharon Buckle, Jonathan Bullock and Sarah Richardson.
LABOUR — Phillip Whitehead, Glenis Willmott, Ross Willmott, Vandna Kalia, Alan Rhodes and Elizabeth Donnelly.
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS — Bill Newton Dunn, Dr Alan Riley, Veena Hudson, Richard Church, Deborah Newton-Cook, Lisa Gabriel.
GREEN PARTY — Brian Fewster, Sue Blount, Bob Ball, Simon Anthony, Paul Bodenham, John Chadwick.
UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY — Robert Kilroy-silk, Derek Clark, Ian Gillman, Peter Baker, Kenneth Browne and Barry Mahoney.
BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY — Peter Francis, Clive Potter, Patrick May, John Pennington, Wendy Russell and John Hall.
RESPECT – THE UNITY COALITION — Mohammed Suleman, Sulma Mansuri, Pauline Robinson, Helen Merryman, Craig Plowman and Mary Littlefield.
INDEPENDENTS — Shadmyraine Halliday and Russell Rogers.