‘Ming’ Flanagan in ‘turf war’ to hold European seat

Midlands-North West MEP Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan is in the running to hold his seat in the European Parliament, following the election on Friday, May 24 – however, he will have a battle on his hands.

This is following the first poll from the Midlands-North West constituency, which was delivered this afternoon, Monday, May 27.

The poll shows that Mairead McGuinness – who was favoured to top the vote – has come out ahead of the pack and has been elected to one of the four available seats, with 134,630 first preference votes.

The poll shows that Flanagan is currently in second place, with a healthy 85,034 first preferences.

However, Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy is close on his tail, with 77,619 first preferences, and newcomer Maria Walsh is not far behind, with 64,500.

If Flanagan is successful, it would be his second spell in the European Parliament, following his election in 2014.

Flanagan will, as before, sit as an independent member of the parliament if he gets in.

Early last month, Flanagan spoke to AgriLand on the issue of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) reforms and the convergence of payments.

Responding to a vote of the European Parliament agriculture committee – which included a recommendation to move to 100% convergence by the year 2027 – Flanagan described it as “good news”.

“Really the big thing for us is that the committee position now is that we should have 100% internal convergence by the end of this CAP – which is great news,” he said.

The Roscommon politician has also spoken out on climate action, and how people in rural areas could play a role in mitigation policies.

He argued that the owners of bogs and peatlands should receive payments on a per hectare basis for sequestering carbon.

Flanagan told AgriLand: “Every action that you take on climate change must take into account socio-economic factors. If you don’t do that, it will not happen.”