May 21st, 2014
EU Elections – Where the parties stand
By 38 Degrees team
Here are the ratings for each of the parties that responded to 38 Degrees’ requests for statements.
You can also see the full statements that 38 Degrees’ members rated to produce these ratings.
How were these ratings decided?
Choosing priority issues for 38 Degrees members
150,000 members of 38 Degrees were asked to vote on which issues should be top priorities for the EU Election. These issues were chosen from issues that would be affected by the EU that 38 Degrees members had previously campaigned on, that lots of members had previously suggested, or that had previously come top in polls.
A lot of 38 Degrees members thought we should prioritise six issues:
- protecting our public services and environment from TTIP (The Trans-atlantic trade and investment partnership).
- protecting our Bees from poisonous pesticides
- cracking down on tax-dodging
- protecting our private data through stronger rules on data protection
- getting stronger employment rights for workers
- getting stronger targets for reducing carbon emissions to protect our climate
Getting statements from parties
Staff in the 38 Degrees office then approached every party standing candidates to be UK MEPs. They were asked for short statements on these 6 key issues. The questions which were asked were as follows:
- How will MEPs from your party go about stopping the NHS, our welfare and the environment from being threatened by global trade agreements like the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)?
- What will MEPs from your party do to secure tougher regulations protecting bees from harmful pesticides?
- Will MEPs from your party work to secure tougher EU targets on CO2 reductions to help tackle climate change?
- What will MEPs from your party do to strengthen employment rights protecting workers across the EU?
- How will MEPs from your party protect constituents’ privacy by ensuring tougher laws on data protection across the EU?
- What will MEPs from your party do to crack down on tax dodgers, ensuring everyone pays their fair share of tax?
The parties that responded with answers that met the guidelines sent are: the Animal Welfare Party, the Christian People’s Alliance, the Conservative Party, the European People’s Party, the Green Party, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the National Health Action Party, the Pirate Party UK, and the Yorkshire First party. Of these the Conservatives, the Green Party, the Labour Party, and the Liberal Democrats are standing in all regions. The Animal Welfare Party, the European People’s Party, and the National Health Action Party are just standing in London. The Christian People’s Alliance are standing in the Eastern region, in London, and in the South East. The Pirate Party UK are standing in the North West, and the Yorkshire First party are standing in Yorkshire and Humber.
The following parties were messaged through their websites, asking for an email address to send the questions to, but they did not respond: We Demand A Referendum Now, Traditional Unionist Voice, The Socialist Party of Great Britain, National Liberal Party – True Liberalism and the English Democrats.
The Roman Party .ave did not have a website or any way of contacting them.
Due to a staff error the Your Voice Party weren’t contacted with the questions. The staff team is really sorry about this. The intention was to ask for responses from all parties on these issues, but there was a website mix-up and the Your Voice Party weren’t actually contacted. You can find out about the Your Voice Party here.
Plaid Cymru also replied to the scorecard, but unfortunately the response went into a spam folder and was never seen. The staff team is really sorry about this as it would have been great for Plaid Cymru’s responses to have been included. You can find out more about Plaid Cymru policies here.
All other parties standing in any region received, at the very least, an email asking for responses to the questions. This included UKIP, who unfortunately were the only party standing in every region that didn’t respond to the questions. The SNP, and the DUP along with other parties just standing in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, were also sent the questions, but did not respond.
Rating the parties’ responses
38 Degrees members then rated each of the parties’ responses out of 5, based on how well it satisfied their concerns about the issue.
The name of the parties was not included next to the statement, and references to the parties’ names were removed, so that bias towards specific parties did not affect the ratings.
An average score was then taken for each of the parties’ statements on each issue, and rounded to the nearest ½ to produce the final rating.
The scores are out of 5 with 1 being the lowest and 5 being the highest. The colours indicate how high the ratings are with dark green being the highest, dark red being the lowest, and orange being a middle/average score.