The Electoral Commission has today recommended that the extra European Parliament seat allocated to the UK under the Lisbon Treaty should go to the West Midlands
Currently the region is represented by two Conservatives (Malcolm Harbour
and Philip Bradbourn
), one Labour (Michael Cashman
), one Liberal Democrat (Liz Lynne
) and two former UKIP now ‘unattached’ MEPs (Mike Nattrass
and Nikki Sinclaire
), but if the recommendation from the Commission is implemented, it would mean the West Midlands is represented by seven
The coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty in December 2009 envisaged the overall number of MEPs in the European Parliament rising by 18
and the UK’s allocation of seats increased by one
The UK government tasked the independent elections watchdog to recommend which of UK’s 12 electoral regions to allocate the seat to and who in making its recommendation had to ensure that each electoral region has at least three MEPs, and that the ratio of electors to MEPs is as similar as possible in each electoral region.
Employing the Sainte-Laguë method
, the Commission calculated that the West Midlands has the highest ratio of registered electors per MEP (682,166 per MEP
) and by this measure is the worst represented region in the United Kingdom.
The findings also showed that the South West
and East Midlands
regions are ‘under-represented’ with only 11 MEPs representing a combined electorate of nearly 7.5 million. At the other end of the scale the report says that Wales
and Northern Ireland
are ‘over-represented’ with four and three MEPs respectively.
Ultimately it will be the UK Parliament in Westminster that will make the final decision on whether to accept these proposals.
To read the Electoral Commission's report click here
UPDATE (21.00): Alex Folkes
, a Cornish Liberal Democrat councillor, has worked out that if (as expected) the government accepts the Electoral Commission's recommendation then there will be another Conservative
MEP in Brussels and Strasbourg.
As Alex notes
"the third person on their list is Anthea Elizabeth Joy McIntyre. Presumably (unless she declines to position of the local Conservative nominating officer declines to name her to the post), she will become the new MEP.