DEMOCRACY – PR & BY-ELECTIONS – 14 December 1999

Dr Julian Lewis: What assessment he has made of the operation of the electoral system in Scotland for European parliamentary elections?

[SUPPLEMENTARY:] Is it not a shame that the Secretary of State has not assessed the implications of the proportional representation list system in European elections for Scotland arising from a recent development in England, namely the resignation of Pauline Green, the former leader of the party of European socialists and Labour MEP for London, to take a better paid job only six months after she stood for, and was elected to, the European Parliament under a Labour ticket? Is that not a weakness of the system, in that the electorate will have no chance to punish the Labour party in a by-election? The next candidate will take Buggin's turn and move up into the space vacated by the rather dishonourable tactics of the lady to whom I have referred.