voters will be faced with a complex system when they come to register their preference for
the European elections on 10 June.
The votes will count on a proportional representation basis across the region, and
voters will opt for a party rather than an individual candidate, with the seats then being
Each party will submit a list of eight candidates, to match the eight available MEP
seats in the area and depending on how many seats they win they will work their way down
This system came under heavy criticism from former Labour MEP Christine Oddy when it
was first announced, and her anger was confounded when she discovered that Labour had
placed her seventh on their list of eight candidates.
This move left Coventry and North Warwickshire MEP Oddy with no chance of re-election
and was one of the contributing factors to her resignation from the party.
At that time Oddy blasted the party list system saying:
"I want to open up a totally undemocratic closed list, it is a protest against the
shift of power from the voter to the political party elites."
The system means that voters will have no say over candidates who are elected to seats
and can only choose a party, the list of individuals and their priority cannot be altered
by the voting.
A spokesperson for Christine Oddy believes that public feeling of injustice over the
system gives the MEP a real chance of grabbing one of the eight seats.
"A vote for Christine is a vote for Christine, so people supporting her know
exactly who they are getting to represent them.
"Christine will be standing as MEP for Independent Labour and she had a large
majority last time, so I think she has every chance of getting one of the seats."
Although the Labour Party took seven of the corresponding eight seats when the area was
divided into constituencies last time, the new PR system means that a repeat of this is
It would need Labour to secure a massive 80% share of the West Midlands votes to retain
as many MEPs as they currently have.
Labour Party Midlands spokesman Neil Skitt admits the party know they cannot secure
that many votes.
"We are going for as many seats as possible but we have to be realistic and accept
that the way the new system works means that keeping the same amount of seats that we have
now will be difficult.
"People seem to think these changes are Labour Party enforced but they are
actually part of a cross European system for proportional representational."