The news that two of Wales’ four MEPs have confirmed they will not stand if European elections are held in May points to (if there are elections).
After 10 years as MEPs, Labour’s Derek Vaughan and Conservative Kay Swinburne said they would not be candidates.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said it was a priority of the UK government to leave before the elections.
On Twitter, Mr Vaughan said: “After much agonising I announced today that if there is a European election in May I will not be standing.
“It’s been a huge privilege representing Wales in the European Parliament for the last 10 years.”
Ms Swinburne said: “It has been a huge honour to represent Wales in the European Parliament over the last decade but the time has come for me to hand over the baton to someone new.
“During the last 10 years I have been able to work with colleagues across the political spectrum on topics that matter to the people of Wales, the UK and across Europe.”
Wales’ other MEPs, Jill Evans and Nathan Gill, have both said they intend to stand.
Ms Evans is putting her name forward to run for Plaid Cymru again, while Mr Gill, who was elected for UKIP in 2014 before leaving the group
, wants to run for Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party.
UKIP has chosen Kris Hicks and Keith Edwards as its candidates.
Only a few days ago I predicted
Of course selection of candidates will be paramount .
Those with sitting MEP (if they are not demob happy) are at an advantage, but the question must be asked whose going to stand for a job that is going to last till October 31st or even shorter if Westminster can vote to leave earlier.
There’s always a possibility that the vast bulk of UK &N MEPs elected in May will be retirees an pensioners.
Will it make any difference who the candidate is?
Well three years ago a poll saw a fictitious MEP was recognised by a greater percentage of people than three real ones.
The made-up Elwyn Davies was second only to UKIP MEP Nathan Gill in name recognition, ahead of Jill Evans, Derek Vaughan and Kay Swinburne.
The figures emerged in the 2016 Welsh Election Study.
Cardiff University’s Professor Roger Scully said voters were “unlikely to notice” the loss of MEPs after Brexit.
The findings suggest that Wales’s four MEPs – UKIP’s Mr Gill, Plaid Cymru’s Ms Evans, Labour’s Mr Vaughan and the Conservatives’s Ms Swinburne – were picked out by members of the public who saw the names with a breakdown of 16%, 11%, 9% and 6% respectively.
But the made-up Elwyn Davies was chosen by 12% of those who saw “his” name, beating all the MEPs apart from Mr Gill.
Out of the remaining made-up names, David Sherwood was picked by 5%, Lynn Goodwin 5% and Jenny Green 5%.
Of course Nathan Gill is a controversial figure and had a high profile during the 2016 Assembly elections.
Plaid’s Jill Evans probably has a high profile among Plaid supporters and is a enthusasiic MEP, but it must be said amongst the other parties , the title of MEP is probably the most important and have laissez faire attitude.
Indeed it seems the most wildly known UK MEP Nigel Farage has the lowest voting attendance record of any active MEP in the European Parliament.
But exclusive analysis of the MEP voting records shows that Mr Farage
only turned up to 40.7 per cent of all possible roll-call votes between July 2014 and May 2016.
This places him 745th out of 746 MEPs from across the different EU countries on the register.
The 746th was Brian Crowley, a MEP in Ireland who has never voted, according to the register.
A fall from a building left Mr Crowley paralysed from the waist down when he was 16 years old.
One wonders apart from the likes of Jill Evans how many of the newly elected MEPs will simply see out their remit until we leave in October and just take the pay due to them.
Of course we may not leave at all and it could be next year we have a number of MEPs resigning and parties desperately looking for someone to replace them.