Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

In Britain the European elections have started today

Adelina Marini, June 4, 2009

In Britain people vote to choose MEPs today together with local elections. But if we, in Bulgaria, have the feeling that something must change at any price, in UK the situation is not very different. There the scandal with the MPs that have abused with their positions and money, is on the way to throw down the whole government. According to the "Times" the prime minister Gordon Brown was confronted by an e-mail plot to ditch him and the threat of further ministerial resignations as Labour braced itself for a disastrous showing in today’s European and local elections. Labour MPs were being asked to sign a letter tomorrow calling on Mr Brown to go. There are high- level predictions that up to 75 may do so.

In spite of this, the prime minister continued with plans to shake up his Government and was preparing to bring Ed Balls into the Treasury despite indications from friends of Alistair Darling, the Chancellor, that he was reluctant to move. "Whips are braced for ministers to unleash fierce attacks on Mr Brown after the polls close tonight", the "Times" reports.

The big winner on the European elections in 2004 was the Independence Party with a gain of 10 seats and a 16.2 per cent share of the vote, putting it third behind the Conservatives and Labour. Back then both parties lost seats. The Conservatives received 27 seats with 8 MEPs lost and 26.7% of the votes, and the Labour got 19 MEPs, with 6 less than the previous elections or 22.6% of the votes.

Probably you will not be surprised that the main issues in the campaign again were domestic problems, combined with the knowledge that it will not directly change the government of the day — although the result will send a strong message, the "Times" reminds.

The results of the elections will not be announced until the last member state votes and, given the time zone, this would be Bulgaria. In other words, if any member states decided something else as the Netherlands is giving a signal, the results should be announced officially on Sunday after 11 pm Bulgarian time (1 hour ahead of CET). Then we will be able to learn the first results from the Bulgarian elections which will be on the 7th of June.