7 Things You Need To Know About UKIP’s European Election Victory

Farage on top.

1. UKIP has topped the UK poll in this year’s European Parliament elections and won 24 MEPS.

Steve Parsons/PA Wire/Press Association Images

UKIP received more votes than any other party, winning over four million votes and beating Labour and Conservatives into second and third place respectively.

The scale of the victory was so complete that UKIP won a seat in every constituency in Great Britain – including Scotland, where Nigel Farage has traditionally received an extremely hostile reaction.

This is the first time that a party other than the Conservatives or Labour has topped a national poll in a century.

Nigel Farage paid tribute to the “people’s army of UKIP” and called it the “most extraordinary result in British politics for 100 years”.

2. The Lib Dems have been all but wiped out and Nick Clegg is having to defend his position as party leader.

Sky News

The Liberal Democrats started the night with twelve MEPs but finished the night with just one of them: Catherine Bearder in South East England.

For the first time in years senior Lib Dem figures, including some of the party’s MPs who are facing electoral disaster, are calling for the resignation of Nick Clegg.

Clegg, looking haggard, has admitted that his pro-EU election strategy hasn’t worked but insisted he stood up for what he believed in. Unfortunately the public seem to have rejected that.

3. Labour did well – but not brilliantly.

Neil Hall / Reuters

Labour finished in second place nationally and gained around seven MEPs, taking it to a total of 20.

But it took a strong performance in London to ensure it finished a few hundred thousand votes ahead of the Conservatives. The main opposition party would usually hope for a much stronger result in a European Parliament vote this close to a general election in the hope that momentum was building for a future victory.

But instead UKIP has stolen Labour’s thunder.

4. The Conservatives slipped into third place and don’t seem too concerned.

Darren Staples / Reuters / Reuters

David Cameron’s party fell behind Labour in terms of the total number of national votes and lost seven seats, reducing it to just 19 MEPs.

But the Conservatives don’t seem that bothered by their third place: party officials had been careful to dampen down expectations in advance and brief that they expect voters to punish the party of government.

Their hope that is that many UKIP voters return to the Tories in time for the UK general election in May 2015.

5. The Green Party finished fourth, pushing the Lib Dems into fifth place.

Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

The Green Party vote remained fairly stable 1.2 million votes, equivalent to 7.9% of the electorate. But the Lib Dem collapse – and the freak performance of a rebel UKIP party (see below) – was enough to help them win an extra MEP.

6. The BNP has been wiped out.

AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis

Nick Griffin lost his European Parliament seat and his party’s other seat followed suit. For them this far-right party the game is over.

7. UKIP would have done even better were it not for a party with a similar name.

“An Independence From Europe”, led by ex-UKIP politician Mike Nattrass, appears to have taken tens of thousands of votes from UKIP supporters who were confused by its name.

In the process it probably to cost UKIP one or two MEPs. Farage has since told Guido Fawkes that he wants the Electoral Commission to be abolished because they allowed this to happen.

(Mike Nattrass disputes all this and told BuzzFeed UKIP’s claim is “bollocks”.)

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