Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Pipped at the Post

Posted by jonathanfryer on Monday, 8th June, 2009

It was galling to just miss out on getting elected to the European Parliament for the second time last night, by an even smaller margin than in 2004. Even though the number of London Euro-seats went down from nine to eight (in response to EU enlargement), I would still have been elected had the Liberal Democrats polled just 110 more votes per Westminster parliamentary constituency. Instead, the Conservatives held their third seat (last time, it was Labour). Turnout was only about a third of the electorate, but at least the BNP came nowhere near getting a seat in London. London region LibDems fought a far better campaign than ever before, especially in our held and target parliamentary seats, and I had a great team of young volunteers working for me. I am as disappointed for them as I am for myself.

My enthusiasm for the European project is not dimmed, however, nor is my commitment to the LibDem cause. So as far as I am concerned, my preparations for 2014 begin next week!

22 Responses to “Pipped at the Post”

  1. Commiserations, Jonathan. I had my fingers crossed for you, but this time it was not to be. Best of luck for the future.

  2. Teek said

    Commiserations, a shame that you missed out. Good to see you being so positive about things though, there is still much work to be done!

  3. Commiserations Jonathan – do make sure you take a holiday though!

  4. Julian Fountain said

    Hard luck. It would be interesting to see the break-downs at consituency level as to how you did. I know there was some door-to-door work going on in Walthamstow last week, but nothing like as much as was needed, obviously.

  5. Jonathan getting to Europe is becoming a challenging task for you and maybe you need to try and get elected to Westminster and forget about the European Parliament!

  6. David said

    Irfan, he’s laready tried that – Leyton ’92.

  7. Victorialubbock said

    Hi Jonathan
    I am writing to say how much your endeavours to further the LIbDem representation in Europe were appreciated, and naturally, how disappointed I am that the electorate did not see fit to turn out in sufficient numbers to support you. It is our loss as I believe you would have made a most excellent and knowledgeable addition to the LibDem European team. I hope, in any event, you have planned a lovely restful holiday to recover from the tremendously energetic campaigning!

    I do hope this result will not deter you from seeking a future similar undertaking, but for today, you may be pleased to know that your supporters know how hard you have worked.

  8. jonathanfryer said

    Thanks for your commiserations and comments, guys. Being a member of the European Parliament is what I am interested in, Irfan, so that is what I will continue to strive for. Project 2014 begins next week!

  9. Meral Ece said

    Jonathan – commiserations: you worked so hard and really deserved to win. The EU is poorer without your talents, knowledge and experience of London’s diverse communities.

  10. Earnshaw Palmer said


    Commiserations! So close! Don’t give up!

    Best of luck for the future

  11. Jonathan Fryer is a uniquely talented man and would have made an excellent L/D MEP.

    There was solid work to get out our vote locally and we were unstinting from 7 am.n until the last seconds at 10 p.m.That is the only way to do it on Election Day.

    PR does mean that many more residents can trust in their votes being counted for their chosen candidate but rightly benefits minorities, including the Tamil Independent, with the belief in the noble single issue.

    On the other hand a highly respected candidate like JF, narrowly fails, despite his massively ubiquitous campaign across the Capital.This speaks more about the democratic vagaries of PR and the threshold, then the quality of our JF and his Team.

    But I noted our residents voted against the prospect of any significant BNP increase in London and had more sense than those elsewhere.

  12. Shas Sheehan said

    Jonathan, just want to add my voice to those offering commiserations. Personally I was gutted that you missed out again – delighted that you will go for it again in 2014.
    The vagaries of PR indeed!

  13. Please can you explain in more detail how you calculated the margin of defeat? I think the last round was won by the Tories, and according to my sums the LDs would have needed (2 ⋅ (479037 ∕ 3)) − 240156 = 79202 more votes to take it from them. Am I doing the wrong sum? Thanks!

  14. jonathanfryer said

    I’m not sure, Paul; I just reported what I was told on the night. I’ll leave it to the De Hondt experts to work out the real figure! What I do know is that once again, De Hondt showed itself to be a rum form of proporatinal representation: with (just) less than twice the number of votes than the LibDems, the Tories got three times the number of seats. The same thing happened with Labour last time!

  15. Turhan Ozen said

    I must say I wished you win so much! I was very sad when I learned the results. I only feel better now when you say you’d stand again. I want you know that we will support you with growing energy.

  16. Ian said

    I am sorry that you didn’t get elected Jonathan.
    I have a question for everyone.
    Is there any other EU country that uses two voting systems for these elections?(STV in NI)
    I would have thought for an election to be fair the voting system should be uniform.

  17. […] in London, just 110 extra votes per Parliamentary constituency would have seen Jonathan Fryer elected as London’s 2nd Lib Dem […]

  18. edward steen said

    Dear Jonathan, we were away in France for the election but I ensured postal votes for you + my family turned out, so we are not among the guilty 110. I am very sorry about your being pipped at the post like this. When you crack it, you will bring exactly the kind of well-informed intelligence and good sense to the EP which it needs. Best to you, Ed

  19. john oakes said

    Hi Jonathan
    It was great fun providing LibDem Friends of Poland and other platforms for you, which clearly showed that Europe is the loser by your narrow defeat.
    I can only echo your many supporters, and regret the result. I will share some technical moans about our campaign with you tomorrow.

    Cheers -and yes, 2014 begins now!
    John Oakes

  20. Bad luck Jonathan. Must be frustrating. Next time….?

  21. Rainbow Duke said

    Ugh how agonising – better luck next time

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