The European elections will be held on May 22 and Boston is set to be a key regional battle ground - with all four of the main parties already visiting the town as part of their campaigns.
Boston sits within the East Midlands region. The region has five seats in the European Parliament, currently held by Bill Newton-Dunn (Lib Dem), Emma McClarkin (Con), Roger Helmer (UKIP), Derek Clark (UKIP) and Glenis Willmott (Lab). Derek Clark is standing down at this election.
UKIP is widely predicted to do well in May, with party leader Nigel Farage predicting a ‘political’ earthquake predicting a political ‘earthquake’ when he spoke in Wyberton last year and the party took the headlines when it scooped five of Boston’s seven seats at last year’s county council elections.
However, since then the party has suffered a split locally – with Boston councillors Bob McAuley and Tiggs Keywood-Wainwright following ousted Lincolnshire leader Chris Pain out of UKIP.
The ballot works with each party putting forward a list of candidates in order, with seats given to parties out in proportion to the votes they won, starting from the top of the list. Eg 20 per cent of the vote earns one seat, handed to the person at the top of that party’s list.
The parliament is the directly elected part of the European Union, working with the European Commission – one appointed ‘commissioner’ from each country headed by Jose Manuel Barroso – and the European Council, which is the heads of state/Government for each country led by President Herman Van Rompuy and foreign minister Catherine Ashton.
On www.bostonstandard.co.uk over the next two days we feature the views of each of the four main parties as they bid for your votes, starting today (THursday) with the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties...