UKIP have produced a storming result at the EU elections. The EU sceptics won a staggering 31.3% of the vote, which saw UKIP candidates grabbing 24 seats in Brussels.
The result is extremely significant, and will be a considerable weight on the Labour party, which really should have dominated as the official opposition in the elections. UKIP’s surge in the EU elections is likely to bring about change on Labour’s position on Europe, as the party is currently not offering a referendum.
Lib Dems & Labour will need to change their position on EU. Not offering a referendum is a “we know best” stance & out of touch.
— The Backbencher (@Backbencher) May 25, 2014
Elsewhere Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats were shattered at the polls. The party managed to retain 1 of its 9 MEPs.
It’s a disastrous result for Nick Clegg, and despite comments from Tim Farron who declared he was proud of the party’s stance on Europe, the voters did not agree. It’s not out of the question that Nick Clegg will change his stance as well on Europe – that’s if, of course, the Lib Dems still want him in the top spot. There is a petition from Liberal Democrat colleagues to remove Nick Clegg from the top job due to the party’s disappointing 5th place result; which puts them behind the Greens… Some Liberal Democrats feel it might be time for change; while senior Liberal Democrat MPs such as Lynne Featherstone do not.
The Lib Dem’s Bill Newton-Dunn, the longest serving British MEP, bowed out with grace after a 30 year career in the European Parliament.
On the far side of politics, Nick Griffin lost his seats as an MEP, and the BNP lots both of their MEPs yesterday – meaning that Britain is now free from the BNP in Europe. Griffin took to Twitter to announce the news to beat the media to it; however he was a bit out of touch with Twitter as he tweeted out that he did not know how to remove the letters MEP from his account.
If anyone can tell me how to change my twitter title without losing the account I’d be obliged! 😉 #we‘renotgoingawayyouknow
— Nick Griffin MEP (@nickgriffinmep) May 25, 2014
UKIP have seen broad support from around the country; even up in the perceived impregnable “anti-UKIP” Scotland. David Coburn, who was the party’s spokesperson on Gay Marriage, has unofficially taken the 6th MEP seat in Scotland.
It’s a big result and it was also expected. The voting system used in the EU elections is Proportional Representation (PR), and it has been traditionally viewed as a preferable system for outsider parties. UKIP and the Greens have performed at a higher level in the election due to the absence of tactical voting; but the question is, can UKIP’s surge continue?