As the official deadline for Britain to leave the European Union approaches, Parliament seems determined to override the will of the people and sound the death knell of freedom. Each week, Liberty Nation shines a light on the dark rumblings in the British Isles that portend the betrayal of Brexit.
In a little over a week, on May 23, Brits will head to the voting booths to cast their ballots for an election that shouldn’t technically be happening. When Britain voted to leave the European Union, a process was set in place that meant by March 29, 2019, the partnership between the U.K. and the E.U. would dissolve, whether a trade deal was in place or not.
Yet almost two months after the deadline, the U.K. is still part of the E.U. and as such has a legal obligation to take part in the European parliamentary elections. There is little doubt that this will be an unofficial rerun of the original referendum, with the winning side claiming that the result reinforces its position.
However, these are not ordinary winner-takes-all elections; the politics and machinations involved in understanding the veracity of the results take some effort.
The E.U. elections take place in each member state from May 23 to May 26, at which point all results will be announced, and the winning and losing parties will begin the laborious process of trying to form working groups within the parliament.
The allocation of seats works on a system known as the D’Hondt method (or the Jefferson method), which awards places based on the highest averages. With the eruption of Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party, it’s worth looking at what results the D’Hondt method will likely deliver.
A range of parties are participating in the elections; here they are with their latest polling figures:
- Brexit Party – 34%
- Labour Party – 16%
- Liberal Democrats – 15%
- Green Party – 11%
- Conservative Party – 10%
- Change UK – 5%
- UKIP – 3%
- Other – 7%
The United Kingdom is divided into 12 regions; each region has a number of seats. We’ll use as our example London, which has eight seats.
The first seat goes to the Brexit Party because it has the highest vote share. Then its percentage share is cut in half, leaving 17%. This 17% still ranks highest, so the Brexit Party also gets the second seat. Then its share is cut in half again, to 8.5%
The third seat goes to the Labour Party because its 16% is now the highest; then this is cut in half, reducing to 8%.
The next three seats go to the Liberal Democrats, the Green Party, and the Conservative Party because they have the highest numbers left: 15, 11, and 10. Each of these is then cut in half.
That leaves two seats. The two highest remaining numbers are the Brexit Party with 8.5% and the Labour Party with 8%, giving a final tally of:
- Brexit Party – 3 seats
- Labour Party – 2 seats
- Liberal Democrats – 1 seat
- Green Party – 1 seat
- Conservative Party – 1 seat
Leave or Remain?
Few in the media are discussing how the vote splits between those in favor of Brexit and those opposed to it. The Brexit Party is clearly for it, whereas the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party are both in favor of remaining. The Labour Party wants to hold a second referendum, or a “people’s vote,” and the Conservatives seem divided under the poor leadership of Theresa May.
Prime Minister May was a Remainer and still is; many suspect she is actively undermining the Brexit process. So that gives four parties that want to delay or stop Brexit vs. one party that wants to get on with it: 3 seats to 4.
If the polling proves accurate and Farage’s Brexit Party secures more seats than the others, he will claim it a victory for democracy and demand that the government get on with delivering the referendum result. However, those who prefer Britain to be part of the E.U. are likely to claim that Remain-backing parties secured more seats than the Brexit Party, and therefore the public prefers to forget about the whole thing.
Only two things are certain: Both sides of the debate will claim a victory, and both sides will do little to reunite an already fractured country.
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