Over the next three weeks or so I will be trying to predict the results of the European Elections which take place in the UK on May 22, with the results being announced late in the evening of Sunday 25 May. I will be hosting a European Elections Special Programme on LBC from 9pm that evening. Let’s kick off with the region I know best, the East of England, where 7 seats are up for grabs. The Eastern region covers the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.
In 2005 the result was identical. In 1999 UKIP had one fewer and the Tories were on 4. Labour had 2. But in 1999 there 8 seats, not 7.
Last time around the Greens narrowly missed out on a seat with Andrew Duff clinging on for the LibDems. My prediction for this year is this…
If I’m right it will see the exit from the European Parliament of David Campbell-Bannerman who defected (or reratted) to the Tories from UKIP during this parliament. UKIP need to gain at least one seat in this region if they are to achieve their aim of topping the polls throughout the country. Winning 4 seats is probably beyond them, which would mean one of their youngest candidates, Michael Heaver, missing out. If they get three, it will see their Comms Director Patrick O’Flynn. Head of policy Tim Aker and Norfolk farmer Stuart Agnew elected. Last time they got 313,000 votes. Anything below 450,000 will be seen as not making the headway they needed to make. I suspect they may well score above 500,000 votes in one of their strongest regions.
Labour could, in theory, win both of the remaining seats but last time they only scored 167,000 votes in the whole region. To win both seats and hold off the Greens and the LibDems they will need to increase their vote dramatically from the 10.5% scored in 2009. The Greens, on the other hand, probably only need to go up by two per centage points from the 8.5% they got last time. The LibDems have scored 13.8% and 14% in the last two elections. Can they possibly score that highly this time? I very much doubt it and predict they will be down to around 10%.
So that final seat could well be a five way fight. If I had to put money on it, i think the Greens may well nick it on the basis that they may well pick up the extra 2% from disillusioned LibDems who don’t want to vote Labour.
Predicted Winning Candidates
Conservative Party – Vicky Ford, Geoffrey Van Orden
Green Party – Rupert Read
Labour Party – Richard Howitt
UK Independence Party – Patrick O’Flynn, Stuart Agnew, Tim Aker