This time next week, the UK will be voting in the European elections, possibly for the last time (or possibly not). In most of our elections, we vote for individual people who represent a party. When voting for a member of the UK Parliament, you are balancing how much you support the party and how much you trust the individual person concerned to work on behalf of their constituency.
In the elections for the European Parliament (in England, Wales and Scotland at least), you vote instead for a party and they pick the actual candidates. It is called the d’Hondt system and I found it explained on the iNews website.
Therefore, it is much more about the policies of the party rather than the people and I think the critical ones at this juncture are around Brexit. Given that Brexit means the elected members might never get to take up their places, it makes a lot of sense to treat it as a proxy vote on the subject. There might not be another public vote before a Brexit decision is made but if there is a strong swell for the parties that take a remain stance it should send a message. I know which direction I’d like that to go in but, stepping back to a more dispassionate stance, it will be interesting to see whether turnout indicates apathy or engagement and whether the results suggest a shift in consensus or that the nation continues to be deeply split.