VoteWatch Europe quoted in the Guardian:
11 June 2015
Britain’s Ukip is Europe’s laziest major political party. Between July 2014 and May 2015, its 23 MEPs have on average participated in only 62.29% of votes in the European parliament, according to data provided to the Guardian by VoteWatch Europe.
Among the parties of Europe’s seven largest states – Germany, France, UK, Italy, Spain, Poland and Romania – that together comprise more than a quarter of EU members, Nigel Farage’s party is by far the most absent from parliamentary votes.
MEPs of Germany’s leftwing Die Linke * (see update below) and Italy’s Forza Italia, which are the second and third parties with the lowest participation rate, have respectively taken part in an average of 78.04% and 78.9% of parliamentary votes over the past 10 months.
No other party – including other eurosceptics ones – among the analysed group has a participation rate below 80%.
Two other UK parties also make the bottom 10 – the Greens and the Conservatives – as does Italy’s New Centre-Right party, which was founded after a split from Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia.
At the other end of the table, the UK Labour party is in the company of Europe’s most diligent parties, having participated on average in more than 95% of votes.
When it comes to the most active party, the ranking is topped by the Democratic Union of Hungarians in Romania (UDMR). Its two MEPs have taken part in 98.79% of votes. France’s Socialist and Green parties complete the podium.
Two Italian Eurosceptic parties, the Northern League and the Five Star Movement, and Spain’s anti-austerity Podemos are also in the top 10.
Of the parliament’s largest parties, MEPs from Germany’s CDU and CSU have taken part in 91.36% and 91.21% of votes respectively, which is less than Italy’s Democratic party (93.28%). Prime minister Matteo Renzi’s party topped the polls with 40.8% of the vote back in May 2014 winning 31 seats in the European parliament.
Marine Le Pen’s Front National MEPs, which was the largest party in France’s European parliament elections, have participated on average in 90.81% of votes. The centre-UMP (or Les Républicans as they are now called) took part in 92.25%.
Spain’s People’s party participated in fewer than nine in every 10 votes (88.93%), while the socialist PSOE voted in 92.64%. Poland’s two largest parties, Civic Platform (PO) and Law and Justice (PiS), participated in 92.86% and 90.34% of votes respectively.
VoteWatch Europe data reveals that mainly because of Ukip’s meagre work rate,the UK’s 73 MEPs are second only to Ireland for low participation in European parliamentary votes. Ireland’s 11 MEPs have taken part in an average of 80.73% votes compared with the UK’s 81.49%. MEPs from Austria, Croatia and Estonia have the highest participation rates.
Of the largest member states, France’s 74 MEPs are the most active having participated on average in 92.34% of votes, followed by Poland (90.92%), Italy (90.83%) and Spain (90.60%).
*Update: The figure for German party Die Linke includes Thomas Haendel. The MEP has however been unable to attend parliament since June 2014 for serious health reasons. He will return to parliament in July 2015. Excluding Haendel, the average participation rate of the other Die Linke MEPs is 91.04%, which would put them halfway down the table of analysed parties.