A European Election Primer


As readers of the blog will doubtless be aware, we are now just ten days away from the European Parliament election on 22nd May. (Although we are a little bit further away from the results, with the votes not being counted until the following Sunday night).

With that in mind, I thought that the following collection of material might be useful to many of you.

First, a reminder of two posts that I did last year on European elections in Wales:

  • This one discusses the history of all the previous European elections in Wales.
  • And this post explored attitudes to the EU in Wales, and the prospects of UKIP in Wales.

Regarding the latter of these two posts, it is perhaps worth saying that some subsequent evidence has indicated a rather more Euro-sceptic landscape of public opinion in Wales than my original post suggested. However, other evidence has supported my original argument. Subject to the findings of next week’s Welsh Political Barometer poll, I would still hold to my original statement: that “we should still expect UKIP to do rather well in the EP elections in Wales. But probably not quite as well as we can expect them to perform in England.”

Second, here are a couple of additional data sources that people may find useful and interesting:

  • This is a link to Maps of the UK with information about the 2009 European election.
  • And this is a link to interactive maps of the European elections in Wales from 1999 onwards.

I found both of them quite valuable in terms of being able to see patterns of support and success for the different parties.

Third, a reminder that the next Welsh Political Barometer poll, which will include findings for voting intention in the European election, is due to be released next Monday. Results and commentary will be made available via this site. I will also, of course, post some detailed analysis of the election results after they come in.


  • Kevin Mahoney

    You’re hardly sticking your neck out in predicting that UKIP won’t do quite as well in Wales as in England are you?

    It’s fairly obvious that there is a fairly minor 5th national political party in Wales in plaid that isn’t standing in England.

    Not the most searching or the illuminating piece of political analysis given that situation

    • Roger Scully

      I think there is rather more to it than there simply being a greater choice of parties in Wales, Kevin. Wales has been UKIP’s second or third worst-performing ‘region’ in all European elections from 1999 onwards (with Scotland always being the worst one), both in years when Plaid Cymru has performed very strongly (1999) and in years when they have done much less well (2004 and 2009). Also, as mentioned in the links, attitudes in Wales do appear – in most surveys, at least – to be a little less Euro-sceptic than in England, though a bit more so than in Scotland.

  • J.Jones

    Harsh Kevin, very harsh. I shall now give my largely uninformed political opinion:
    The election doesn’t matter much to anyone and so they will use it to make general statements of feeling about politics and politicians.
    Lots and Lots of people will vote Labour because they always do when the Tories are in power in Westminster….they will get two seats.
    Quite a few people will vote UKIP…for the hell of it, they aren’t going to do anything in Europe but who cares, they aren’t the usual crowd.
    About 18% will vote Tory because they always do in Wales.
    Those people who always vote Plaid will vote Plaid…if they can remember to and if they can be bothered. They will narrowly underperform the Tories and, despite her sterling contribution on the Dog Passports issue, Jill Evans will lose her seat.

    Is that detailed enough for you?

  • Roger Scully

    Thanks, Jon.

    One of the things we will be looking at with the next Welsh Political Barometer poll is likelihood to vote; which parties get their support out is likely to be crucial in the allocation of the four Welsh seats.

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