European Election: a guide to parties and policiesBy Linda Fort
June 03, 2009
Finding out what some parties stand for can prove challenging when casting a vote in the European Election.
Some, like the BNP, are sending out emails every day while others leave voters to use their skills of detection to guess their policies.
Here, political journalist Linda Fort gives an insight into the parties and their policies and explains how the European Election.
Voters are required to vote for parties, not people.
If a party gains enough votes, the first named party member on its list will get the seat.
Parties will be awarded seats according to the overall proportion of votes they gain.
The results will be announced on Sunday.
- Conservatives say a vote for them is a vote for change.
They are part of a new group in the European Parliament committed to a new vision for Europe.
They promise to cut the cost of politics and deliver more for less, to represent Britain’s interest in Europe and to help clean up the political system.
- Labour says this election represents an opportunity for people to stand up for progressive policies that help ordinary people.
It is all about a sensible and pro-European approach versus the stale Little England policies of the past.
- Liberal Democrats say Labour’s arrogance has messed up Britain’s relationship with other European countries.
Effective co-operation creates prosperity – more than three million jobs in the UK depend on trade with EU countries.
Lib Dems are working with European neighbours to catch terrorists and criminals. Countries must work together to tackle climate change.
- The Green Party expects to receive the anti-sleaze vote.
The party is not just about the environment. It has policies to tackle the economic crisis and lay the foundations for a sustainable and fair society.
Its Green New Deal would create one million jobs through investing in renewable energy, housing, public transport and social care.
- The United Kingdom Independence Party believes the UK should withdraw from the European Union and replace it with a genuine free trade agreement.
The party wants friendship with Europe, not union.
UKIP is committed to a democratic, independent Britain not governed by Brussels bureaucrats.
- The Socialist Labour party says Europe is a capitalist club which makes it easier for multi-national companies to exploit workers.
It says EU directives on privatisation are destroying Britain’s health, education and postal services. The party wants Britain to come out of Europe to develop trading links with the rest of the world. Only by coming out of the EU can things be put right economically and socially.
- UK Peace Party sees a new perspective on human existence with its values based around reverence for all life and co-operation and compassion for humanity. It says this would be infinitely more beneficial than the dominance of competition which prevails at present. The party would resolve conflict by peaceful means and involve everyone in decision-making.
- No2EU opposes attacks on workers’ conditions and public services, many of which are driven by EU legislation.
The party stands for solidarity of working class people across Europe in defence of workers’ rights.
It is a coalition of trade unionists and socialists on the left in opposition to the BNP.
- The Jury Team is a coalition of independent candidates who believe the current system perpetuates malpractice and waste. It champions democracy, accountability and transparency. It says MEPs should not be ruled by party whips and expenses should always be matched by receipts and published along with details of outside earnings.
- English Democrats advocate withdrawal from the EU to rejoin the European Free Trade Association – a saving of £63 billion a year. The party demands the right to celebrate Englishness and calls for an English first minister. It says mass immigration must end and illegal immigrants, terrorists and criminals deported.
- The British National Party believes in ‘putting British people first’. It says no to the EU and euro, immigration and unemployment, and no to high taxes and rip-off Britain. It says the last battle for our country is now raging.
- The Christian Party Proclaiming Christ’s Lordship believes in less crime, stopping abortion and ending the politics of fear. The gospel is its guiding source but it hopes non-Christians will also vote for the party.
- United Kingdom First was formed when Petrina Holdsworth, former national chairman of UKIP, broke away from the party. It is working for a better future for Britain.
- Libertas:eu is a pan-European party devoted to transparency of expenses at the European Parliament and European Commission.
The commission should find 10 billion euros in savings in the coming year and meetings in Brussels should be reduced by 50 per cent.
It rejects the Lisbon Treaty and all MEPs are automatically members unless they opt out.
- The Roman Party. Ave! was formed by Jean–Louis Pascual from neighbouring Reading.
He was born in France and the name of his party refers to the phrase ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’.
He believes people who come to Britain should become part of the community.
Mr Pascual stood in local elections in Reading recently.