European Election results: Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party secures largest number of MEPs
The results of the European elections have been announced for the South East, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party securing the largest number of MEPs for the region.
The South East, which includes Hampshire, will be represented by four Brexit Party MEPs, and three from the Liberal Democrat.
The Conservatives, the Green Party, and Labour secured one MEP position each.
In Portsmouth, the Brexit Party got more than 18,315 votes – almost twice as many as the next party, the Liberal Democrats, with 10,601.
Nigel Farage, the leader of the Brexit Party, said the results were ‘a massive message’ to the Conservative Party and the Labour Party.
He said: ‘This party has had this meteoric rise in six weeks because we didn’t leave on March 29.
‘We should be part of the team now.
‘We have competent men and women who’ve run businesses and done deals.’
He added he hoped the government was ‘listening’ to his message the Brexit Party ‘would love to take some responsibility’ in ensuring the UK exits the European Union.
Mr Farage said he was ‘getting ready’ for an election’ but had ‘no idea’ if one was likely.
Labour MEP John Howarth said the Brexit Party was ‘a smart rebrand of UKIP’ to tackle a ‘toxic’ element within the latter.
He said: ‘What we’ve see in the country over the last two years has been a coarsening of political debate that hasn’t actually helped anyone.
‘What is important is that political parties – in particular my own – listen to their voters and their supporters and their members.
‘In the case of the Labour Party, that means backing the case to stay in the European Union.’
While the Brexit Party secured the largest number of MEPs for the region, parties which backed Remain in the 2016 referendum secured the largest number of votes.
The incoming Green Party MEP Alexandra Phillips said the results were part of a ‘phenomenal night,’ allowing her to campaign for a People’s Vote ‘day in and day out.’
She said: ‘Here in the south east we’ve seen our highest vote share on record – we came third out of ten seats.’
‘We’ve more than doubled the number of the MEPs we have across the country.
‘We have one commonality with the other Remain parties, and we will work together with them on that, but we will all get there in different ways.’
The results see Independent MEP Janice Atkinson, Change UK MEP Richard Ashworth, and Conservative MEP Nirj Deva lose their positions.
Nirj Deva, who was an MEP for 20 years, said the result was a ‘reflection of people being fed up,’ but he had a ‘c’est la vie’ attitude to being out of office.
He said: ‘We have done not so well.
‘I am very pleased that Dan Hannan has been reelected for the South East.
‘He will look after the South East very well while I’m away.’
The elections saw a turnout of 39.3% in the South East – an increase from a 35.4% in 2014.
Across the country, the Brexit Party has secured more than 30 per cent of the vote, with the Liberal Democrats taking 18 per cent. Labour looks to come third, with 14 per cent. The Conservatives are currently fifth, with 8.7 per cent, behind the Greens, on 11 per cent.
MEPs for the South East:
- Nigel Farage, Brexit Party
- Alexandra Philips, Brexit Party
- Robert Rowland, Brexit Party
- Belinda De Camborne Lucy, Brexit Party
- Catherine Beader, Liberal Democrats
- Anthony Hook, Liberal Democrats
- Judith Bunting, Liberal Democrats
- Alexandra Philips, Green
- Daniel Hannan, Conservative
- John Howarth, Labour