Poor turnout fears raised on eve of European elections

The European Parliament in Brussels
The European Parliament in Brussels

A campaign group has warned of a ‘democractic deficit’, with up to two-thirds of people in Boston unlikely to vote in the European Elections.

People are set to go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday) to help to choose the five MEPs for the East Midlands – but the Electoral Reform Society has raised fears of a low turnout.

Will Brett, Electoral Reform Society head of media, said: “In Boston in the last two European elections, turnout has been 46.7 per cent and 34.4 per cent, and there’s no reason to think it will be a great deal higher this time around.

“That’s because there is an ever-widening gap between people and European politics. Our recent polling showed that three in five people believe that the European Parliament does not represent the views of voters. And more than a third say it’s not worth voting at all in European elections.

“This so-called ‘democratic deficit’ makes this week’s European elections much less significant for people than they ought to be. And when you consider how much European politics affects people’s day-to-day lives, that’s a serious failure of democracy.”

The scoiety says the EU needs to be more representative and more accountable, and it should be designed to encourage participation.

It is calling for people to take part directly in European lawmaking and for greater scrutiny of the laws passed.

The East Midlands candidates for Thursday are:

An Independence from Europe: Chris Pain, Val Pain, Alan Jesson, John Beaver and Carl Mason.

British National Party: Catherine Ann Marie Duffy, Robert Malcolm Brian West, Bob Brindley, Geoffrey Williams Dickens and Paul Hillard.

Conservative Party: Emma McClarkin, Andrew Iain Lewer, Rupert Oliver Matthews, Stephen John Castens and Brendan Clarke-Smith.

English Democrats: Kevin Sills, David Wickham, John Dowle, Oliver Healey and Terry Spencer.

Green Party: Kat Boettge, Sue Mallender, Richard Mallender, Peter Duncan Allen and Simon Edward Hales.

Harmony Party: Steve Ward.

Labour Party: Glenis Willmott, Rory Palmer, Linda Woodings, Khalid Hudadi and Nicki Brookes.

Liberal Democrats: Bill Newton Dunn, Issan Ul-Haque Ghazni, Phil Knowles, George Smid and Deborah Violet Newton-Cook.

UKIP: Roger Helmer, Margot Parker, Jonathan Deryck Bullock, Nigel Mark Wickens and Barry Joseph Mahoney.

To see what the parties have to say, visit our website www.bostonstandard.co.uk where we also have videos from UKIP’s visit to Boston on Friday.