Ok, with the Council election out the way it's now time to take a look at who Stoke and North Staffordshire gets to vote for on 23rd of May. According to the Returning Officers' official list, the parties standing EU MEP candidates for the West Midlands are, A-Z: Change UK — The Independent Group.
Conservative and Unionist Party.
The Brexit Party.
UK Independence Party (UKIP).
The Brexit Party is Nigel Farage's new party, and he aims to ensure we get the Brexit we voted for.
Change UK is also an unfamiliar party name, but it seems they're the pro-EU hard-liners who recently broke with the Labour Party.
The rest of the parties you'll already be wearily familiar with.
Unlike normal elections, we don't vote for an individual candidate but rather for a Party. Each Party puts up a slate of candidates for each large region (West Midlands, North West etc). After that it all gets a bit hazy and the final results seem to involve lots of maths and proportional representation juggling — which I have no inclination to delve into. Apparently it takes forever to calculate, and the results can come a week later. But it does mean that our votes matters a bit more, more than if you're stuck in a UK Parliamentary seat with an overwhelming majority.