The European Parliament is the only parliamentary institution of the European Union, directly elected by EU citizens aged 18 or older. Together with the Council of the European Union, which should not be confused with the European Council and the Council of Europe, it exercises the legislative function of the EU; the Parliament is composed of 751 members, that will become 705 starting from the 2019–2024 legislature, who represent the second-largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. It has been directly elected by the European citizens every five years and by universal suffrage since 1979. However, voter turnout at European Parliament elections has fallen consecutively at each election since that date, has been under 50% since 1999. Voter turnout in 2014 stood at 42.54% of all European voters. Although the European Parliament has legislative power, as does the Council, it does not formally possess legislative initiative, as most national parliaments of European Union member states do.
The Parliament is the "first institution" of the EU, shares equal legislative and budgetary powers with the Council. It has equal control over the EU budget; the European Commission, the executive body of the EU, is accountable to Parliament. In particular, Parliament elects the President of the Commission, approves the appointment of the Commission as a whole, it can subsequently force the Commission as a body to resign by adopting a motion of censure. The President of the European Parliament is Antonio Tajani, elected in January 2017, he presides over a multi-party chamber, the two largest groups being the Group of the European People's Party and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. The last union-wide elections were the 2014 elections; the European Parliament has three places of work -- Luxembourg City and Strasbourg. Luxembourg City is home to the administrative offices. Meetings of the whole Parliament take place in Brussels. Committee meetings are held in Brussels; the Parliament, like the other institutions, was not designed in its current form when it first met on 10 September 1952.
One of the oldest common institutions, it began as the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. It was a consultative assembly of 78 appointed parliamentarians drawn from the national parliaments of member states, having no legislative powers; the change since its foundation was highlighted by Professor David Farrell of the University of Manchester: "For much of its life, the European Parliament could have been justly labelled a'multi-lingual talking shop'."Its development since its foundation shows how the European Union's structures have evolved without a clear "master plan". Some, such as Tom Reid of the Washington Post, said of the union: "nobody would have deliberately designed a government as complex and as redundant as the EU"; the Parliament's two seats, which have switched several times, are a result of various agreements or lack of agreements. Although most MEPs would prefer to be based just in Brussels, at John Major's 1992 Edinburgh summit, France engineered a treaty amendment to maintain Parliament's plenary seat permanently at Strasbourg.
The body was not mentioned in the original Schuman Declaration. It was assumed or hoped that difficulties with the British would be resolved to allow the Council of Europe's Assembly to perform the task. A separate Assembly was introduced during negotiations on the Treaty as an institution which would counterbalance and monitor the executive while providing democratic legitimacy; the wording of the ECSC Treaty demonstrated the leaders' desire for more than a normal consultative assembly by using the term "representatives of the people" and allowed for direct election. Its early importance was highlighted when the Assembly was given the task of drawing up the draft treaty to establish a European Political Community. By this document, the Ad Hoc Assembly was established on 13 September 1952 with extra members, but after the failure of the proposed European Defence Community the project was dropped. Despite this, the European Economic Community and Euratom were established in 1958 by the Treaties of Rome.
The Common Assembly was shared by all three communities and it renamed itself the European Parliamentary Assembly. The first meeting was held on 19 March 1958 having been set up in Luxembourg City, it elected Schuman as its president and on 13 May it rearranged itself to sit according to political ideology rather than nationality; this is seen as the birth of the modern European Parliament, with Parliament's 50 years celebrations being held in March 2008 rather than 2002. The three communities merged their remaining organs as the European Communities in 1967, the body's name was changed to the current "European Parliament" in 1962. In 1970 the Parliament was granted power over areas of the Communities' budget, which were expanded to the whole budget in 1975. Under the Rome Treaties, the Parliament should have become elected. However, the Council was required to agree a uni
UK Independence Party
The UK Independence Party is a hard Eurosceptic, right-wing political party in the United Kingdom. It has one representative in the House of Lords and seven Members of the European Parliament, it has three Assembly Members in the National Assembly for Wales and one member in the London Assembly. The party reached its greatest level of success in the mid-2010s, when it gained two Members of Parliament and was the largest UK party in the European Parliament. UKIP originated as the Anti-Federalist League, a single-issue Eurosceptic party established in London by the historian Alan Sked in 1991, it was renamed UKIP in 1993 but its growth remained slow. It was eclipsed by the Eurosceptic Referendum Party until the latter's 1997 dissolution. In 1997, Sked was ousted by a faction led by Nigel Farage. In 2006, Farage became leader and under his direction the party adopted a wider policy platform and capitalised on concerns about rising immigration, in particular among the White British working class; this resulted in significant breakthroughs at the 2013 local elections, 2014 European elections, 2015 general election.
The pressure UKIP exerted on the government was the main reason for the 2016 referendum which led to the UK's commitment to withdraw from the European Union. Farage stepped down as UKIP leader, the party's vote share and membership declined. Following repeat leadership crises, Gerard Batten took over. Under Batten, UKIP was characterised as moving into far-right territory, at which point many longstanding members–including Farage–left. Farage launched the Brexit Party. Ideologically positioned on the right-wing of British politics, UKIP is characterised by political scientists as part of a broader European radical right. UKIP's primary emphasis has been on Euroscepticism, calling for the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union, it promotes a British unionist and British nationalist agenda, encouraging a unitary British identity in opposition to growing Welsh and Scottish nationalisms. Political scientists have argued that in doing so, it conflates Britishness with Englishness and appeals to English nationalist sentiment.
UKIP has placed emphasis on lowering immigration, rejecting multiculturalism, opposing what it calls the "Islamification" of Britain. Influenced by Thatcherism and classical liberalism, it describes itself as economically libertarian and promotes liberal economic policies. On social issues like LGBT rights, education policy, criminal justice it is conservative. Having an ideological heritage stemming from the right-wing of the Conservative Party, it distinguishes itself from the mainstream political establishment through heavy use of populist rhetoric, including describing its supporters as the "People's Army". Governed by its leader and National Executive Committee, UKIP is divided into twelve regional groups. A founding member of the Alliance for Direct Democracy in Europe European political party, most of UKIP's MEPs sit with the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group in the European Parliament. While gaining electoral support from various sectors of British society, psephologists have established that its primary voting base is in England and consists of older, working-class white Britons.
UKIP has faced a critical reception from mainstream political parties, much of the media, anti-fascist groups. Its discourse on immigration and cultural identity generated accusations of racism and xenophobia, both of which it denies. UKIP began as the Anti-Federalist League, a Eurosceptic political party established in 1991 by the historian Alan Sked; the League opposed the signed Maastricht Treaty and sought to sway the governing Conservative Party toward removing the United Kingdom from the European Union. A former Liberal Party candidate, member of the Bruges Group, professor at the London School of Economics, Sked had converted to Euroscepticism while teaching the LSE's European Studies programme. Under the Anti-Federalist League's banner, Sked was a candidate for Member of Parliament for Bath at the 1992 general election, gaining 0.2% of the vote. At a League meeting held in the LSE on 3 September 1993, the group was renamed the UK Independence Party, deliberately avoiding the term "British" so as to avoid confusion with the far-right British National Party.
UKIP contested the 1994 European Parliament election with little financing and much infighting, securing itself as the fifth largest party in that election with 1% of the vote. During this period, UKIP was viewed as a typical single-issue party by commentators, some of whom drew comparisons with the French Poujadist movement. Following the election, UKIP lost much support to the Referendum Party. In the 1997 general election, UKIP secured 0.3 % of the national vote. UKIP was beaten by the Referendum Party in 163 of the 165 seats in which they stood against each other; the Referendum Party disbanded following Goldsmith's death that year and many of its candidates joined UKIP. After the election, Sked was pressured into resigning by a party faction led by Farage, David Lott and Michael Holmes, who deemed him too intellectual and dictatorial. Sked left the party, alleging that it had been infiltrated by racist and far-right elements, including BNP spies; this connection was emphasised in the press when Farage was photographed meeting with BNP activists.
Holmes took over as party leader, in the 1999 European Parliament elections—the first UK electio
Worcestershire is a county in the West Midlands of England. Between 1974 and 1998, it was merged with the neighbouring county of Herefordshire as Hereford and Worcester; the cathedral city of Worcester is county town. Other major towns in the county include Bromsgrove, Evesham, Malvern and Stourport-on-Severn; the north-east of Worcestershire includes part of the industrial West Midlands. The county is divided into six administrative districts: Worcester, Wychavon, Malvern Hills, Wyre Forest, Bromsgrove; the county borders Herefordshire to the west, Shropshire to the north-west, Staffordshire only just to the north, West Midlands to the north and north-east, Warwickshire to the east and Gloucestershire to the south. The western border with Herefordshire includes a stretch along the top of the Malvern Hills. At the southern border with Gloucestershire Worcestershire meets the northern edge of the Cotswolds. Two major rivers flow through the county: the Avon; the geographical area now known as Worcestershire was first populated at least 700,000 years ago.
The area became predominantly agricultural in the Bronze Age, leading to population growth and more evidence of settlement. By the Iron Age, hill forts dominated the landscape. Settlement of these swiftly ended with the Roman occupation of Britain; the Roman period saw establishment of the villa system in the Vale of Evesham. Droitwich was the most important settlement in the county in this period, due to its product of salt. There is evidence for Roman settlement and industrial activity around Worcester and King's Norton. Worcestershire was the heartland of the early English kingdom of the Hwicce, it was absorbed by the Kingdom of Mercia during the 7th century and became part of the unified Kingdom of England in 927. It was a separate ealdormanship in the 10th century before forming part of the Earldom of Mercia in the 11th century. In the years leading up to the Norman conquest, the Church, supported by the cathedral, Evesham Abbey, Pershore Abbey, Malvern Priory, other religious houses dominated the county.
During the Middle Ages, much of the county's economy was based on the wool trade. Many areas of its dense forests, such as Feckenham Forest, Horewell Forest and Malvern Chase, were royal hunting grounds subject to forest law; the last known Anglo-Saxon sheriff of the county was Cyneweard of Laughern, the first Norman sheriff was Urse d'Abetot who built the castle of Worcester and seized much church land. On 4 August 1265, Simon de Montfort was killed in the Battle of Evesham in Worcestershire. In 1642, the Battle of Powick Bridge was the first major skirmish of the English Civil War; the county suffered from being on the Royalist front line, as it was subject to heavy taxation and the pressing of men into the Royalist army, which reduced its productive capacity. The northern part of the county, a centre of iron production, was important for military supplies. Parliamentarian raids and Royalist requisitioning both placed a great strain on the county. There were tensions from the participation of prominent Catholic recusants in the military and civilian organisation of the county.
Combined with the opposition to requisitioning from both sides, bands of Clubmen formed to keep the war away from their localities. The Battle of Worcester in 1651 ended the third civil war. There was little enthusiasm or local participation in the Scottish Royalist army, whose defeat was welcomed. Parliamentarian forces ransacked the city of Worcester, causing heavy damage and destruction of property. Around 10,000 Scottish prisoners were sent into forced labour in the New World or fen drainage schemes; the small bands of Scots that fled into Worcestershire's countryside were attacked by local forces and killed. In the 19th century, Worcester was a centre for the manufacture of gloves. Droitwich Spa, situated on large deposits of salt, was a centre of salt production from Roman times, with one of the principal Roman roads running through the town; these old industries have since declined. The county is home to the world's oldest continually published newspaper, the Berrow's Journal, established in 1690.
Malvern was one of the centres of the 19th century rise in English spa towns due to Malvern water being believed to be pure, containing "nothing at all". The 2011 census found the population of Worcestershire to be 566,169, an increase of 4.4% from the 2001 population of 542,107. Though the total number of people in every ethnic group increased between 2001 and 2011, the White British share of Worcestershire's population decreased from 95.5% to 92.4%, as did the share of white ethnic groups as whole, which went from 97.5% to 95.7%. While this change is in line with the nationwide trend of White British people's share of the population shrinking, Worcestershire is still much more ethnically homogeneous than the national average. In 2011 England as a whole was 79.8% White British, much lower than Worcestershire's figure of 92.4%. Local government in Worcestershire has changed several times since the middle of the 19th centiry. Worcestershire had several exclaves, which were areas of land cut off from the main geographical area of Worcestershire and surrounded by the nearby counties of Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire.
The most notable were Dudley, th
1999 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament Election, 1999 was the United Kingdom's part of the European Parliament election 1999. It was held on 10 June 1999. Following the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999, it was the first European election to be held in the United Kingdom where the whole country used a system of proportional representation. In total, 87 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom; the change in voting system resulted in significant changes in seats. The Conservatives won double the number of seats they had won in the previous European election, in 1994, while the Labour Party saw its seats reduced from 62 to 29; the Liberal Democrats saw their number of seats increase to 10 from just 2 in the previous election. The UK Independence Party, Green Party and Plaid Cymru gained their first seats in the European Parliament; the House of Commons Library calculated notional seat changes based on what the result would have been if the 1994 European elections had been held under proportional representation.
The notional results and seat changes are shown in the results box for this article. It was the first European Parliament election to be held since the 1997 general election which resulted in a change of government from Conservative to Labour. Turnout was 24%, the lowest of any member state in the 1999 election where the EU average was 49.51%. It was the lowest of any European election in the United Kingdom, the lowest of any member state until the 2009 election; the European Parliamentary Elections Act 1999 introduced a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method into Great Britain. In Northern Ireland, the Single Transferable Vote, a form of proportional representation, used since the first European election in 1979 was retained; the Act created twelve new electoral regions, which were based on the British government's nine administrative Regions of England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The effect of the introduction of proportional representation was that many small parties won seats to the European Parliament for the first time.
The Conservatives doubled the number of seats from the last European election. Labour saw their 62 seats reduced to just 29, it was the first European Parliament election to be held since the change of United Kingdom government from Conservative to Labour two years earlier. The Liberal Democrats saw their number of seats increase to 10 from just 2 in the previous election; the UK Independence Party, Green Party and Plaid Cymru won their first seats in the European Parliament. These changes were due to the move to proportional representation from first-past-the-post; the House of Commons Library calculated that if the 1994 European elections had been held under proportional representation, Labour would have won 43 MEPs, the Conservatives 26, the Lib Dems 11, the SNP 3 and Plaid Cymru 1. Summary of the election results for Great Britain Summary of the election results for Northern Ireland Labour Angela Billingham Susan Waddington Veronica Hardstaff Clive Needle Peter Truscott David Thomas Carole Tongue Shaun Spiers Mary Honeyball Michael Elliot Dr Gordon Adam Tony Cunningham Mark Hendrick Hugh McMahon Anita Pollack Ian White Joe Wilson David Morris Michael Tappin David Hallam Roger Barton Barry Seal Liberal Democrat Robin Teverson Conservative Edward Kellett-Bowman Bryan Cassidy Pro-Euro Conservative Party John Stevens, former Conservative MEP Brendan Donnelly, former Conservative MEP Independent Labour Christine Oddy, former Labour MEP Scottish Socialist Party Hugh Kerr, former Labour MEP Leeds Left Alliance Ken Coates, former Labour MEP Labour's results resulted in a debate within Labour about the introduction of proportional representation.
In September 1998, a poll of 150 MPs had found that 58% backed the introduction of proportional representation. A follow up poll ran on the Sunday after the election found that this had decreased to 43%, with the majority wanting a return to the first-past-the-post system, it has been argued however, that the introduction of proportional representation reduced Labour's losses as first-past-the-post is more sensitive to swings in public opinion. Elections in the United Kingdom: European elections Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 1999–2004 Members of the European Parliament for the United Kingdom 1999–2004 by region Breakdown of results by Region House of Commons Research Paper 99/64 "Elections to the European Parliament – June 1999"
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
2009 European Parliament election
Elections to the European Parliament were held in the 27 member states of the European Union between 4 and 7 June 2009. A total of 736 Members of the European Parliament were elected to represent some 500 million Europeans, making these the biggest trans-national elections in history. An additional 18 observers were pre-elected; the majority of MEPs were elected on Sunday 7 June, but because of traditional polling days varying from country to country according to local custom, some countries held their elections in the three preceding days: Thursday 4 June: United Kingdom, Netherlands Friday 5 June: Ireland, Czech Republic Saturday 6 June: Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Czech Republic Sunday 7 June: Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, SwedenIn seven EU member-states, other votes occurred alongside the elections to the European Parliament: a general election in Luxembourg. This was the first European Parliament election that Bulgaria and Romania participated in at the same time as the other member states.
When they joined the EU in 2007, they held elections for MEPs outside the normal electoral calendar. A poll sampling nineteen national polls predicted the following results: EPP 265 MEPs, PES 195 MEPs, ALDE 95 MEPs, GUE–NGL 40 MEPs, Greens-EFA 35 MEPs, UEN 35 MEPs; the remaining 70 MEPs were not predicted, but about 20 were expected to be gained by far-right or Libertas candidates. IND/DEM was predicted to fade away due to Libertas' expected success. A prediction by political scientists Simon Hix, Michael Marsh and Nick Vivyan foresaw little change in the distribution of seats, predicting 249 seats for the EPP, 209 for the PES, 87 for ALDE, 58 for UEN or the European Conservatives, 48 for GUE–NGL, 39 for Greens–EFA, 17 for IND/DEM and 29 NI. A prediction saw 262 seats for the EPP, 194 for the PES, 85 for ALDE, 53 for UEN or the European Conservatives, 40 for GUE–NGL, 50 for Greens–EFA, 23 for IND/DEM and 29 NI. At the previous election member states were granted a fixed allocation of seats for election as determined under the provisions of the Treaty of Nice.
The admission of Bulgaria and Romania midway through the previous Parliament's term had increased the overall size of the assembly to 785, under the terms of the Treaty of Nice it was mandated that the seat allocations be modified for this election, dropping 49 seats to keep the overall size of the Parliament down. It had been the stated desire of the member-state governments to ratify the Treaty of Lisbon before the election so that its articles governing the European Parliament could enter force as of this election. However, this was blocked by the Irish rejection of the treaty in a referendum. Under Lisbon, there would be a somewhat different allocation of seats, with fewer seats eliminated, leading to a different distribution totalling 751 MEPs. If the Lisbon Treaty is subsequently ratified, it is planned to give the additional seats to the "increasing" countries before the next elections, bringing the number of MEPs to 754 for a transitional period until 2014. To have the additional MEPs ready at hand, 18 "phantom MEPs" were supposed to be elected at the election.
These were expected to get observer status in the European Parliament and full payment from the day the Lisbon Treaty enters into force, but only become full members of parliament after an additional protocol is ratified. The latter will require a decision by the European Council. † -- Includes Gibraltar, but not any of Crown dependencies. Italicised countries are divided into sub-national constituencies. Sources: Institutions: EP, Const. Changes, Protocol 34. Many of the national parties running in the election are affiliated to transnational pan-European political parties known as political parties at European level; those pan-European parties are EPP, PES, ELDR, EFA, European Greens, AEN, PEL, EDP and EUD. The question of, the first to campaign transnationally is the subject of some debate, with the European Greens stating that they were the first in 2004. New parties that aspire to pan-European status during the 2009 elections include Newropeans, Europe United, Europe – Democracy – Esperanto and Libertas Party Limited.
The role for pan-European political parties has been expanded by changes enacted by the European Commission in 2007 under the direction of Margot Wallström. Four incumbent European Commissioners will run as candidates in the election: Viviane Reding, Louis Michel, Danuta Hübner, Meglena Kuneva. Ján Figeľ was tipped to but did not run, he is bound to become the new chair
2014 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom's component of the 2014 European Parliament election was held on Thursday 22 May 2014, coinciding with the 2014 local elections in England and Northern Ireland. In total, 73 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation. England and Wales use a closed-list party list system of PR, while Northern Ireland used the single transferable vote. Most of the election results were announced after 10pm on Sunday 25 May - with the exception of Scotland, which did not declare its results until the following day - after voting closed throughout the 28 member states of the European Union; the UK Independence Party came top of the poll, winning 24 seats and 27% of the popular vote, the first time a political party other than the Labour Party or Conservative Party had won the popular vote at a British election since the 1906 general election. It was the first time a party other than Labour or Conservative had won the largest number of seats in a national election since the December 1910 general election.
In addition, the 23.1% of the vote won by the Conservatives is the lowest recorded voteshare for the party in a national election. The Labour Party became the first Official Opposition party since 1984 to fail to win a European Parliament election, although it did gain 7 seats, taking its overall tally to 20; the governing Conservative Party was pushed into third place for the first time at any European Parliament election, falling to 19 seats, while the Green Party of England and Wales saw its number of MEPs increase for the first time since 1999, winning 3 seats. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party won the largest share of the vote, taking 29% of the vote and 2 MEPs; the Liberal Democrats, who were in coalition with the Conservatives at the time, lost 10 of the 11 seats they were defending, won just 7% of the popular vote. Figures released in December 2014 showed that the Conservatives and UKIP each spent £2.96m on the campaign, the Liberal Democrats £1.5m, the Labour Party £1m. The United Kingdom elected 73 Members of the European Parliament using proportional representation.
The United Kingdom was divided into twelve multi-member constituencies. The eleven of these regions which form Great Britain used a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method. Northern Ireland used the Single Transferable Vote; as a result of the Treaty of Lisbon coming into force, the UK became entitled to a 73rd MEP as from November 2011. The Electoral Commission performed a reallocation in keeping with the same procedures they used to allocate 72 MEPs and an extra Conservative MEP was allocated to the West Midlands constituency based on the 2009 vote and was enshrined in the European Union Act 2011 as an amendment of the European Parliamentary Elections Act 2002. 1 Includes Gibraltar, the only British overseas territory, part of the European Union. The European Parliamentary Elections Order 2013 provides for the designated Returning Officer for each electoral region to be the council official responsible for elections in each of the following Westminster constituencies: Kettering for the East Midlands, Chelmsford for the Eastern region, Deptford for the London region, Sunderland Central for the North East region, Manchester Central for the North West region, Falkirk for Scotland, Test for the South East region, Poole for the South West region, Preseli Pembrokeshire for Wales, Birmingham Ladywood for the West Midlands region, Leeds Central for the Yorkshire and Humber region, Belfast South for the Northern Ireland Region.
Between the 2009 and 2014 elections, there were various changes to the breakdown of UK members. In December 2011, a 73rd member from the UK was allocated to England because of the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon. There were various defections: one Conservative MEP defected to the Liberal Democrats; the Ulster Conservatives and Unionists - New Force electoral pact between the Conservatives and the Ulster Unionist Party was dissolved. Thus, before the 2014 election, the following parties had MEPs representing UK constituencies: 39 parties stood a total of 747 candidates; the Conservative Party and UKIP had candidates in every region. Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the BNP had a full slate of candidates in all the regions in Great Britain; the English Democrats and An Independence from Europe had a full slate of candidates in all the English regions. No2EU had a full slate in seven regions, while Britain First and the Socialist Party of Great Britain had full slates in two regions each.
The Harmony Party stood in the Christian Peoples Alliance in three regions. Other parties only stood in one region. United in Europe was a single-issue party founded to contest these elections in Scotland, advocating continued membership of the UK in the EU. Founded by Charles Cormack in Edinburgh in January 2014 and registered on 3 April 2014 as a response to UKIP and Euroscepticism, the party did not