Devon and East Plymouth (European Parliament constituency)
|Devon and East Plymouth|
|European Parliament constituency|
European Parliament logo
|Member state||United Kingdom|
Devon and East Plymouth was a European Parliament constituency covering all of Devon in England, with the exception of the city of Plymouth. It was created in 1994 to replace the majority of Devon and a small part of Cornwall and Plymouth.
Prior to its uniform adoption of proportional representation in 1999, the United Kingdom used first-past-the-post for the European elections in England, Scotland and Wales. The European Parliament constituencies used under that system were smaller than the later regional constituencies and only had one Member of the European Parliament each.
The seat became part of the much larger South West England constituency in 1999.
Members of the European Parliament
Only one election was held in the seat, in 1994. When nominations closed, it was revealed that Richard Huggett was a candidate with the description "Literal Democrat", a name very similar to that of the Liberal Democrats. The latter launched legal action in the High Court of Justice alleging that the Returning Officer had wrongly accepted a nomination which was designed to confuse voters. The Judge ruled that the nomination had to stand. Huggett won more than 10,000 votes, while Liberal Democrat candidate Adrian Sanders finished only 700 votes behind the winner. This prompted a change in the law, banning potentially confusing party descriptions.
|Liberal Democrat||Adrian Sanders||74,253||31.4||N/A|
|Green||P. A. Edwards||11,172||4.7||N/A|
|Literal Democrat||Richard Huggett||10,203||4.3||N/A|
|Independent||J. A. Everard||2,629||1.1||N/A|
|Natural Law||A. J. Pringle||908||0.4||N/A|
|Conservative win (new seat)|
- "David Boothroyd's United Kingdom Election Results". Retrieved 20 January 2008.
- "Research Paper, The Registration of Political Parties, Bill 188 of 1997–1998" (PDF). www.parliament.uk. 1 June 1998.
The issue of misleading descriptions came to public attention in 1994 when Richard Huggett stood as the Literal Democrat candidate in the European Parliament elections in the constituency of Devon and East Plymouth.
- "Judge credited with thorough job". BBC News. 31 January 2000.
- Patricia Wynn Davies, "Historic win for Ashdown in West Country", The Independent, 13 June 1994.
- United Kingdom European Parliamentary Election results 1979–99: England: Part 1
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