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Additional UK MEP 'should go to the West Midlands region'

Tuesday, 26 October 2010
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 region.

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 MEPs.

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 from 72 to 73.

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 (PDF).

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."

Herman Van Rompuy beats counterpart Barroso (in joining Twitter anyway)

Ever since the protracted coming into force of the Lisbon Treaty last December, the then-newly created President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy and the pre-existing President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso have been vying for influence and recognition as the main figurehead of the European Union.

Today, it seems the Belgian van Rompuy has for now beat his Portugese rival into second place, by becoming the first of the two to join the social networking site Twitter.

Maintained and updated by his media team, the Herman van Rompuy twitter stream @euHvR will "tweet the latest videos, photos & statements, and cover live his (press) conferences".

There had been a "José Barroso" on Twitter under the moniker of @JMDBarroso but it seems as though it was not the Commission President and the account was consequently suspended in June.

Currently only SIX of the 27 Commissioners are using Twitter.

Last election:

Click here to see which six MEPs were elected.