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Mebyon Kernow will not be standing in European Parliamentary Elections
Our National Executive has decided that MK will not be contesting the elections to the European Parliament, which are due to take place on 23rd May 2019 – though there is still a possibility that they could be cancelled if MPs agree a Brexit deal.

Given the uncertainty around the election, and also the significant costs, it was the view of the National Executive that MK’s electoral priorities should remain the 2020 Police and Crime Commissioner election, preparing for the next round of Cornwall Council elections in 2021, and making sure that MK takes part in the next General Election.

In particular, it was acknowledged that the nature of the “South West” seat, of which Cornwall makes up just one-tenth, would make the election very difficult for MK. It is estimated that Mebyon Kernow would need a quarter of the Cornish vote to simply save its £5,000 deposit and it could poll every vote in Cornwall and not get an MEP elected.

Background information

In 2009, MK put forward a slate of candidates in the European Parliament elections, because we received two very generous donations from party members. The main imperative for taking part at that time was to raise MK’s profile for the first elections to Cornwall’s unitary authority, which took place on the same day. MK polled 11,534 votes in Cornwall, plus 3,380 votes across South West England and eight votes in Gibraltar.

MK lost its £5,000 deposit in the 2009 elections. In order to recoup this money, political parties needed to achieve 2.5% of the vote and MK polled 7% of the vote in Cornwall but – because the Party for Cornwall, unsurprisingly, only achieved 0.24% of the vote in South West England / Gibraltar – we lost out. It is estimated that MK would have needed to achieve 25% of the Cornish vote to save its deposit.

The ludicrous nature of the “South West” seat means that even if MK polled every vote in Cornwall it would not get an MEP elected. In 2014, a total of 146,960 valid votes were cast in Cornwall, while the Lib Dems failed to secure a seat after polling 160,376 votes across the whole of “South West” constituency.

It has also been confirmed that in order to qualify for a party election broadcast, MK would need to stand slates in the every single one of the nine English regions. And yet, Plaid Cymru and the SNP will be allowed broadcasts for standing a single slate of candidates in Wales and Scotland respectively.
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Published on 24th April 2019.

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