This could be good branding for possible Euro elections
One of he potentially big developments that came out at the end of last week was the decision by the Independent Group to seek registration as an official party under the name of Change UK.
The grouping, of course, features the LAB MPs who left Corbyn’s party in February followed by the three women Tory MPs who left their party a few days later. It is the only grouping that has more women than men.
If there are European elections in the UK on May 23rd, and that is very dependent on events over the next 10 days, then the UK would be bound to participate. Its reported that election administrators are taking precautionary steps to ensure that if this does happen that they can make the arrangements in time.
Elections to the European Parliament in the UK take place under a system call the “closed party list.” Unlike general elections where voters indicates the individual of their choice in Euro elections they take a box against a party which field a list in each region. So a party’s name could be crucial.
It is this structure that has been very helpful to UKIP and indeed at the last Euro elections in 2014 the party finished top in the UK.
My guess is that the new party’s planned name Change, if that is acceptable, may be potentially very potent in a European election structure. We’ve all heard at different elections people making the call to “vote for change” and the new party has taken over the phrase. Under this banner it will be able to brand itself as the body that that seeks to do something differently.
I think that is quite smart and could potentially be very useful should the elections take place.
What is really interesting is what the relationship Change UK will have with the Lib Dems. What’ll happen if there is a parliamentary by-election in Brecon a seat at the Lib Dems used to hold – where the MP last month pleaded guilty to expenses fraud. That’s likely to trigger off a recall petition which could open the way for a by-election perhaps in early July. Change UK wouldn’t want its first Westminster by-election standoff be a fight with the LDs