Voters back Brexit Party in snub to Tories and Labour
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party secured a significant victory in the European elections as the voters delivered a massive snub to both the Conservative and Labour parties.
The Brexit Party, officially launched only last month, won 32% of the votes – higher than UKIP’s 27% in 2014 – with the Conservatives reduced to fifth place. As an indication of the continuing divisions over EU withdrawal, the Lib Dems – which supported Remain – were in second place.
The Greens also made gains, as they did across Europe. UKIP voters appeared to make a big switch to the Brexit Party.
In Scotland the SNP secured 37.7% of the vote, a nine-point rise in its share of the vote, as the gulf in opinion north and south of the border widens further. It increased its number of MEPs from two to three as support for Scottish Labour collapsed, losing both its seats – including David Martin who was the UK’s longest serving elected EU politician – and ending the night in fifth place with just 9.3% of the votes, down from 26% in 2014.
Winning SNP trio: Alyn Smith, Christian Allard and Aileen McLeod (pic: Terry Murden)
Scotland’s six MEPs will be: the SNP’s Alyn Smith, Christian Allard and Aileen McLeod; Louis Stedman-Bryce of the Brexit Party; Sheila Ritchie of the Liberal Democrats; and Baroness Nosheena Mobarik of the Conservatives.
Turnout across Scotland was recorded at 39.9%, up from 33.5% five years ago.
Of 64 UK MEPs, Mr Farage’s party won 29 seats, the Lib Dems 16, Labour 10, Greens seven, the Tories four and Plaid Cymru and the DUP one each. Change UK, made up of Labour and Tory rebels, won no seats and its members may join the Lib Dems. In Wales the Labour Party suffered its worst ever result.
The result was a severe warning to the Conservative and Labour parties in what could be a general election year. However, the Brexit Party has no manifesto and is being seen as a voice of protest.