The Brexit Party has triumphed in the European Parliamentary elections in a disastrous night for the Conservatives and Labour. The main parties suffered large losses, in a night that also saw a resurgence for the Liberal Democrats, who achieved their best ever result in an EU election.
Almost three years after the EU Referendum, it appears that the UK remains deeply divided on the Brexit issue, with voters choosing pro-remain and pro-leave options at the polls rather than the main parties.
- UKIP suffered a total wipeout, losing all 23 of their MEPs.
- The Conservatives lost all but three of their seats (losing 16) while Labour only won 10 seats (down from 20 in 2014).
- Change UK failed to make an impact, not registering a single MEP.
- The Green Party won seven seats, up three from 2014.
- The Brexit Party which formed just six weeks ago won 10 of the UK’s 11 regions and gained more than 30% of the vote. The party won 28 seats (not including Northern Ireland and Scotland) in an emphatic victory for the party and its leader Nigel Farage.
- The Liberal Democrats won 15 seats, scoring their best ever result in an EU election.
- The election turnout was up 1.8% from 2014 to to 36.7%.
The significant losses for Labour and the Conservatives have already sparked further debate about each party’s future direction on Brexit. The elections came in a week where leader of the House of Commons, Andrea Leadsom resigned over Mrs May’s Brexit policy, followed just two days later by Theresa May announcing she would resign on June 7.
In response to the election results, Nigel Farage said;
“Never before in British politics has a new party launched just six weeks ago topped the polls in a national election,”
“There’s a huge message here, massive message here – the Labour and Conservative parties could learn a big lesson from tonight – though I don’t suppose that they actually will.”
Meanwhile, outgoing Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable said;
“We have shown ourselves to be the strongest Remain force in British politics”
“We will always stand up for the people who have put their faith in us, taking this mandate forward to campaign harder than ever to stop Brexit.”
The election results will no doubt send a strong message to Westminister showing a continually divided nation. The Brexit Party will likely push further for a no-deal Brexit following the election result, however, it remains to be seen whether this is a viable option that could pass through Parliament.
In the week ahead, we can expect further fallout from the election results, plus maybe more Conservative declaring leadership bids and their Brexit policies – here’s a full look at the week in preview.
Photo: Nigel Farage | Credit: Gage Skidmore [CC BY-SA 2.0]