There are reports of widespread voter suppression of both non-UK EU-citizens and UK citizens living outside the UK in the 2019 EU Parliament elections, which they are entitled to participate in.

Channel 4 Guardian BBC

What are the practical consequences of this in terms of MEPs returned?

This group, exercising their freedom of movement, are unlikely to have voted for a party that want to remove that freedom. Could this group have changed a "winning" UKIP-Brexit Party candidate to another party, were they were allowed to vote?


1 Answer 1


It's possible the result could have been different, but given the voting system used in the UK for European elections, it appears it would have taken a large number of additional votes, very specifically arranged to cause it to happen.

Taking the results from this wikipedia page and applying the D'Hondt system of PR to the votes in each electoral region we find :

  • In the South East of England the 9th seat went to the Labour party with a quota of 184,678 votes (which was their total share, this was their first seat). Meanwhile Change UK received no seats for 105,832. Hence about 80,000 would have been enough.
  • In London, a very similar total would have flipped a Brexit party seat to Change UK.
  • In the East Midlands about 26,000 votes would have flipped a Brexit Party seat to the Greens
  • In the West Midlands about 50,000 votes would have flipped a Conservative seat to the Liberal Democrats.
  • In Yorkshire 96,000 votes would have flipped a seat from the Brexit party to the Liberal Democrats

I'm afraid I don't understand Northern Ireland politics well enough to try and work out what would need to happen under their STV system. In Scotland about 36,000 votes would have flipped a seat from the Conservatives to Labour, but I'm not sure that's actually a pro-Remain move.

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    Part of the problem also is that the UK is one of the few EU countries (the others being Ireland and Poland, and to a lesser degree Belgium) where voting occurs in small enough constituencies that minority parties get suppressed. May 30, 2019 at 11:03
  • A more simplistic view is that nationally the LibDems require an additional 2 million votes to Overtake the Brexit Party , bbc.co.uk/news/topics/crjeqkdevwvt/…. That's roughly the same number of Votes that the Green Party got.
    – Jontia
    May 30, 2019 at 11:03
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    @DenisdeBernardy Although the system also allows regional parties such as the SNP and Plaid Cymru representation they would lose in a single constituency system.
    – origimbo
    May 30, 2019 at 11:05
  • @DenisdeBernardy Although actually the distinction I was intending was between D'Hondt and Sainte-Laguë, which would have made it much easier for a party such as Change UK to pick up seats.
    – origimbo
    May 30, 2019 at 11:08
  • @origimbo: There's nothing wrong IMO with breaking out separate constituencies for Scotland, Ireland, and Wales. It's the size of constituencies in England (under 5 MEPs in several cases) that, to me, reeks of gerrymandering under a different name by the two main parties. Italy accommodates its local particularists while avoiding that problem, by having much larger constituencies than those in the UK or Poland. May 30, 2019 at 11:35

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