European election results 2014: Ukip sweeps to victory in the UK

European election results 2014: Ukip sweeps to victory in the UK

Ukip wins European elections with easeLib Dems down to one seat, beaten by the Greens.

David Cameron is about to be interviewed on the Today programme, so I’ll need to take a short break to listen to him. In the meantime, my colleague Rowena Mason has compiled the 10 key lessons from the European election results you can read them here.

And, naturally, after Opik, thoughts turn to what Boris Johnson makes of it all. In his Telegraph column, Johnson says the results of the vote show Europe has a peasants’ revolt on its hands:

There is a kind of peasants revolt going on, a jacquerie. From Dublin to Lublin, from Portugal to Pomerania, the pitchfork-wielding populists are converging on the Breydel building in Brussels drunk on local hooch and chanting nationalist slogans and preparing to give the federalist machinery a good old kicking with their authentically folkloric clogs.

There are Greek anti-capitalists and Hungarian neo-fascists and polite German professors who want to bring back the Deutschemark. They are making common cause with Left-wing Italian comedians and Right-wing Dutch firebrands and the general slogan is simple: down with technocracy, down with bureaucracy, and give power back to the people!

It’s about that time when we start to wonder what Lembit Opik thinks:

Last night was a ‘pretty disappointing night’ for Lib Dems in the same way the Titanic had a ‘pretty disappointing crossing’

The victory for Marine Le Pen‘s Front National in France it won 25% of the vote and 25 seats, the first time it has topped the poll has been greeted with dismay by many, with Martin Schulz, the outgoing president of the European Parliament, saying:

It’s a bad day for the European Union, when a party with a racist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic programme gets 25% of the vote.

The people have spoken loud and clear. They no longer want to be led by those outside our borders, by EU commissioners and technocrats who are unelected. They want to be protected from globalisation and take back the reins of their destiny.

Seventy per cent – yes SEVENTY – of the departments in France put the Front National top. This is a ‘nationwide’ triumph for Marine Le Pen!

Européennes : 70 % des départements français ont placé le FN en tête #EP2014 http://t.co/QpBWONTXDupic.twitter.com/HAbWgIEawR

Nigel Farage has just been on the Radio 4 Today programme. Evidently his promise that we will see less of him is not effective immediately. He spoke a bit more about why he’s going to rein in his public appearances:

One of the criticisms has been that Ukip is a one-man band The British public, in the run-up to a general election, want to see a team. So I’m going to put in place spokesmen and spokeswomen for the NHS, defence, immigration and jobs.

If a sitting Conservative MP or Labour MP, with similar views, came to an agreement with a local [Ukip] branch, I’d be relaxed about it.

Here’s the front page you’ll see when you pop out to buy your Guardian this morning:

Guardian front page, 2.30am edition, Monday 26 May 2014: Farage’s political earthquakepic.twitter.com/FPhtiUFVIA

An overnight story worth repeating: the BNP now has no MEPs after Nick Griffin was decisively ousted. My colleague Helen Pidd was at the count in the north-west and filed this report:

Speaking after his defeat, Griffin blamed Ukip for taking the BNP’s vote. Asked whether the people of the north-west had rejected his party’s racist and fascist policies, he said: “They’ve voted for Ukip’s racist policies instead.”

He added: “Ukip want to keep out white Poles but let in huge numbers of Pakistanis and Africans.”

An update from Tower Hamlets, where last week’s council election result is still not yet resolved. Press Association has this report:

An east end London borough has still not completed its council election count more than three days after polls closed.

Electoral chiefs at Tower Hamlets suspended their operations at around 3am today until tomorrow.

Labour’s Chuka Umunna who, judging by the frequency of his television appearances, has been awake since the polls opened on Thursday was (somewhat tellingly) interrupted mid-interview when the BBCswitched to Farage.

@bbcbreakfast live from Westminster. @billtu about to interview Labour’s @chukaumunna:pic.twitter.com/l2Za0OivuO

Ukip is saying [to voters], you’re angry, we’re angry too but what are you actually going to do to solve the problems?

Nigel Farage has just been speaking to BBC News, sounding a little like a football manager:

My dream’s become a reality. It seemed like the whole world was against us, but the British public stood firm. I’m over the moon.

[Clegg] put his entire reputation on those debates, this campaign it could hardly be worse for him. His position as leader is untenable.

They absolutely despise us No, we will plough our own furrow.

I am going to rejig the party over the summer. We will have spokesmen and spokeswomen for immigration, health, defence You’ll see less of me over the next few months.

The Liberal Democrats are not having a good morning. They went into these elections with 12 MEPs now they have one.

Martin Tod, a member of the party’s federal executive, told the BBC that voters no longer backed Nick Clegg:

What seems to be clear coming out of this is that they are not prepared to listen to our leader and that’s a really serious problem.

It’s a problem that I think we need to address.

It’s been very difficult. We are in government so there is always a chance to squeeze and that happens in politics.

We fought a very good, positive campaign on our issues of being in the European Union and standing up for Britain in the European Union.

Eurosceptic Tories have been enjoying something of an “I told you so” moment, as the Conservatives found themselves shoved back into third position in a European election it won five years ago.

Some of us who opposed Maastricht 20 years ago predicted it would lead to the rise of the right in the EU: and here we are.

So maybe those of us who sometimes banged on about Europe were on to something?

They can have a free hit [in a European election], they can have a vote that does not have the consequence of bringing the wrong government in.

So it is very different to a general election.

Paul Nuttall, Ukip’s deputy leader and newly re-elected MEP for north-west England, has been on BBC News talking about his party’s overnight victory. Quizzed over which parties Ukip would sit with in the European parliament it is currently in the the Europe for Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group, which has come under criticism for some of its members’ extreme views Nuttall said this was yet to be decided. But he confirmed that Ukip would not work with Marine Le Pen’s Front Nationalwhich won the poll in France, but which Nigel Farage has criticised for “antisemitism and general prejudice”.

In 2010, we had almost a scattergun approach We didn’t target carefully. [Next year] we will be standing in every seat, 100%. But we will be focusing and targeting ruthlessly.

Good morning if you didn’t stay up late into the night to follow the results of voting for the European parliament (and even if you did), here are the highlights and key results.

Ukip has stormed to victory in the European elections, performing powerfully across the UK. It now has MEPs in Scotland, Wales and every region of England. It is the first time since the general election of 1906 that a party other than Labour or the Conservatives has topped a national election.

Ukip 27.5%, with 23 MEPs

Labour 25.4 with 18 MEPs

Claire Phipps – theguardian.com, 

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