Results for the EU Parliament elections are beginning to roll in, with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party in first place in Britain, Marine Le Pen appearing to defeat Emmanuel Macron in France, and important wins for national populists in bulwarks Poland and Hungary.
This story will receive regular updates as results emerge; the original story appears beneath them…
UPDATE: Monday 09:00 am — Italy’s Salvini: “A new Europe is born.”
With almost all votes counted, Italy’s right-populist League party is placed in first place with more than one third (34.4 per cent) of the vote, with the establishment left-wing Democrats with 22.7 per cent of the vote.
While in France, Marine Le Pen’s National Rally is reported to have 5.3 million votes compared with 5.1 million for the progressive-left La République en Marche! (LREM/Republic on the Move), led by President Emmanuel Macron.
Italian Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini, who is the League’s party leader, remarked on the results in his country, France, and the United Kingdom, telling media: “Not only is the League the first party in Italy, but Marine Le Pen is the First party in France, in the UK Nigel Farage is first. So Italy, France, and England — it’s the sign of a Europe that is changing.”
“A new Europe is born,” he added.
UPDATE: Monday 08:30 am — Brexit Party Placed First in Latest Projections
While the results are still only at projections, with Northern Ireland and Western Isles votes yet to be counted, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is placed firmly in the lead, with a predicted 24 seats. The preliminary results reported by Sky News are as follows:
Brexit Party: 29 seats (+ 29)
Liberal Democrats: 16 (+15)
Labour: 10 (-10)
Green Party: 7 (+4)
Conservative Party: 4 (-15)
Scottish National Party (SNP): 3 (+1)
Plaid Cymru: 1 (no change)
UKIP: 0 (-24)
The establishment parties have seen major losses, with Labour’s vote share halved from 20 to 10, while the party of the British government the Conservative Party came in fifth, winning just four seats, a loss of 15.
Former Conservative Party MP and incoming Brexit Party MEP Anne Widdecombe told the BBC Sunday night: “There was only ever one reason to vote the Brexit Party — we didn’t cloud it with any other issues.
“We said: ‘Vote for us if you want a Brexit.’ That is what the nation has done big time tonight and so what I think this does is send a very clear message to Westminster again that if they don’t sort out leave at the next General Election both parties will see carnage!”
Mr Farage said of the results that they were a “big win”, saying: “It’s been a terrible night for the Conservatives, but look at Labour. Look at what the Brexit Party has done in Wales, so this is a big, big message, big, big wake-up call for Westminster.”
He told media that the Brexit Part now has a mandate from the people to be involved in the Brexit process, saying his new Members of European Parliament are ready to “take responsibility” .
Mr Farage said: “The new [exit] date is the 31st of October. We in the Brexit Party have got men and women of considerable business experience, we want to be part of that negotiating team, we want to take responsibility for what is happening and we are ready to do so.
“I hope the Government is listening. I have to say this: If we don’t leave on October 31 then the scores you have seen for The Brexit Party today will be repeated in a general election and we are getting ready for it.”
“History has been made. This is just the beginning,” he added.
UPDATE: 00:40 a.m. — Widdecombe tells BBC, “we came first, whether you like it or not!”
“[T]here was only ever one reason to vote for the Brexit Party. Vote for us if you want a Brexit, and that’s what the nation has done big-time tonight… this sends a very clear message to Westminster, again…” said the Brexit Party’s new MEP in a BBC interview.
Miss Widdecombe noted that while there are several reasons to vote for the Greens or the Liberal Democrats, the Brexit Party stood on one matter and one matter only — and that “we came first, whether you like it or not!”
UPDATE: 00:30 a.m. — Corbyn says Brexit will ‘have to go back to the people’
Lifelong eurosceptic Jeremy Corbyn appears to have officially abandoned any pretence of respecting the people’s vote to Leave the European Union in the wake of the EU election results, issuing a statement that the issue “will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote.”
UPDATE: 00:20 a.m. — Nigel Farage elected in South-East, Brexit Party wins almost a million votes
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has been elected in the South-East, with his Brexit Party claiming an astonishing 915,686 votes.
UPDATE: 00:10 a.m. — Lord Adonis fails to win a seat
Gawain Towler, the Brexit Party’s singular and much-loved head of press, has expressed his “horror” at arch-Remainer Andrew Adonis, a Blair-era placeman in the House of Lords, failing to win a seat for the Labour Party in the European Parliament.
UPDATE: 11:55 p.m. — Ann Widdecombe wins seat in South-West, no MEPs for Tories, Labour
Ann Widdecombe, the popular veteran Tory who was one of the Brexit Party’s star recruits, has won a seat in the South-West, with her new party claiming a more than comfortable first-place finish.
Neither the Tories nor Labour have won even a single seat, with both polling in the single digits.
UPDATE: 11:45 p.m. — Tories fail to win a single seat in Yorkshire
The Tories have been wiped on in Yorkshire, with the Brexit Party claiming three seats out of six and the Liberal Democrats, Labour, and Greens picking up one apiece.
UPDATE: 11:40 p.m. — Brexit Party claims huge victory in Thurrock
The Brexit Party romped home with 51.8 per cent of the vote in Thurrock, with UKIP claiming another 5.7 per cent.
Labour were a distant second to Farage’s party on 15 per cent, with neither the Liberal Democrats or the Tories breaking 10 per cent.
UPDATE: 11:30 p.m. — Brexit Party leads with 49 per cent of vote counted
With 49 per cent of votes counted in the United Kingdom, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party appears to have a commanding lead over its rivals. The Tory vote appears to have collapsed in all areas, and voters are also abandoning Labour in both their Leave-voting historic heartlands and their more privileged, Remain-leaning bases, where the Liberal Democrats have made gains off their EU loyalist “Bollocks to Brexit” platform.
UPDATE: 11:15 p.m. — UKIP leader loses his seat
UKIP leader Gerard Batten has lost his seat in London, a Remainer stronghold.
Mr Batten worked hard to revive the fortunes of the flagging party by taking a series of calculated risks, including taking up Tommy Robinson’s cause after his botched imprisonment for contempt of court and bringing in popular but controversial online personalities Carl Benjamin (Sargon of Akkad) and Markus Meechan (Count Dankula).
The strategy does not appear to have borne fruit, however, with the Brexit Party under Batten’s former leader Nigel Farage having clearly emerged as the new voice for Brexit in the United Kingdom.
UPDATE: 11:05 p.m. — Liberal Democrats win London
Nationally, the picture is looking strong for the Brexit Party but short of the highest predictions which hit 37 per cent in the week before the vote. 32 per cent is still well ahead of the Eurosceptic vote achieved in the 2014 European Election when Ukip got 27.5 per cent, however:
In London, the Liberal Democrats have cleaned up, taking three MEPs. The Conservatives have lost the two London representatives they won in 2014, while the Brexit Party have gained two.
Update 11:00 p.m. — Italian populist Salvini thanks Italy
Populist Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has taken to Twitter to thank Italian voters as exit polls put his Lega party in first place with between 27 and 30 percent of the vote, according to Italian broadcaster RAI. The projections also put the once mighty Five Star Movement, who were the largest party in the 2018 national elections, into third place behind the left-wing Democratic Party (PD).”
UPDATE 10:55 p.m. — East of England declares
Good news for the Conservative Party, who were worrying for a near-total wipeout tonight — they have seen their first MEP elected in the East of England. That is nothing compared to the strong turnout for the Brexit Party, however, who took very nearly four in ten votes in the region.
The Brexit Party take two MEPs for the region, while the Greens and Conservatives take one each.
UPDATE: 10:40 p.m — First UK MEPs allocated
The first British region has declared, but the comparatively sparsely populated North East of England has the power to appoint just three MEPs — quite a comparison to the South East region, which has ten.
The Brexit Party takes two seats, and Labour one. Nationwide, the Brexit Party is pushing towards 35 per cent so far — not something that will likely last, but impressive work for early in the evening where urban and presumably more pro-remain regions typically post results first.
UPDATE: 10:25 p.m. — Orbán declares victory
Hungary’s Viktor Orbán has officially declared victory for his Fidesz-KDNP party, suggesting he has won the anti-mass migration, pro-national identity mandate which he was seeking.
UPDATE: 10:20 p.m. — Greek prime minister calls snap election
Greece’s left-wing prime minister Alexis Tsipras has called a snap general election after coming in second to the right-leaning New Democrats.
Marine Le Pen has been calling on President Emmanuel Macron to do the same in France, as preliminary results indicate that exit polls are correct and her National Rally party will defeat his left-neoliberal LREM party.
UPDATE: 10:00 p.m. — Exit polls point to crushing victory for Hungary’s Orbán
With almost all votes counted in Hungary, exit polls pointing to a crushing victory for Viktor Orbán’s governing Fidesz-KDNP appear to have been vindicated, with the prime minister’s party claiming around 52 per cent of the vote — far, far ahead of the opposition liberal coalition, on around 16 per cent.
All eyes in the United Kingdom are on Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which is just weeks old but forecast to come in first place, as people who voted Leave in 2016 register their objection to the establishment’s attempts to delay, water down, or even thwart Brexit entirely.
Another major battleground is Italy, where Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior Matteo Salvini has emerged as the populist movement’s leading man across continental Europe, and may end up sending one of — if not the — largest contingents of MEPs to Brussels of any party anywhere in Europe.
Bulwarks of conservatism-populism in Central Europe such as Poland and Hungary, which are already led by majority right-wing governments, appear to be holding fast, with the former’s Law and Justice Party (PiS) set to see off a left-centrist “European Coalition” and place first with its biggest ever vote share, and the latter’s governing Fidesz-KDNP under Viktor Orbán winning a crushing victory with over 50 per cent of the total vote.
The performance of populist parties which made breakthroughs more recently, such as Alternative for Germany (AfD) and the Sweden Democrats, for example, is less clear.
The former is polling at 10.8 per cent — but the real story of the night being a massive surge for the far-left Greens — and the latter at 16.9 per cent.
This story is developing…
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