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Thursday, September 6, 2007

European Parliament election, 2004 (Gibraltar)
Gibraltar's first elections to the European Parliament were held on 10 June 2004 as part of Europe-wide elections. Although part of the European Union, Gibraltar had never before voted in European Parliamentary elections, in part due to its small electorate of just over 20,000 which would cause Gibraltar to be over-represented by about 30 times if even a single seat were to be assigned to it. This disenfranchisement was successfully challenged before the European Court of Human Rights [1] and from 2004 Gibraltar was considered to be part of the South West England region for electoral purposes. None of the main Gibraltarian political parties contested the election, so voters chose from United Kingdom party lists. However Lyana Armstrong-Emery of the small Reform Party had a place on a joint list with the Green Party.
The Conservative Party polled over two thirds of the Gibraltarian vote, with no other party exceeding 10% support. This was almost certainly due to the perception that the Labour Government in Britain had betrayed Gibraltar by attempting to negotiate a constitutional settlement involving joint sovereignty with Spain, rejected overwhelmingly by Gibraltarians (see Disputed status of Gibraltar). The Conservatives were perceived as being unequivocal in their support for Gibraltar's continued British status. In addition both the leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard and his deputy Michael Ancram flew in to rally support, and the local Conservatives mounted a vigorous campaign.

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