28th Nov, 2020

Elections: Brexit Party revealed as big winners but pro-EU parties see poll surge too

Rob George 29th May, 2019

VOTERS across the West Midlands delivered a resounding snub to the two main political parties and backed Nigel Farage’s newly-established Brexit Party in the European Parliament elections.

The former UKIP leader saw his new party equal the three seats won by UKIP at the last elections in 2014 as 37.7 per cent of voters backed a party which was only founded in January while Labour and the Conservatives lost almost 10 per cent and 14 per cent of their vote share respectively.

Unlike the ‘First Past the Post’ system used in UK elections, the EU vote was held under proportional representation meaning the number of votes each party gets overall determines how many MEPs they have.

Seven seats for Brexit Party

As a result, the Brexit Party won three of the seven West Midlands seats on offer with Rupert Lowe, former chairman of Southampton FC, Martin Daubney, former editor of Loaded, and Andrew Kerr all elected.

Speaking after the result, Mr Daubney said: “We’re over the moon and so proud of the people of the West Midlands for turning out.

“More than 500,000 votes for a party which didn’t even exist at the start of the year.

“We’ve been hearing from long time Conservative and Labour voters. People are feeling betrayed and politically homeless and the Brexit Party has taken the negativity on the doorsteps and turned it into a positive politicial revolution.”

UKIP saw its vote collapse by a staggering 26.5 per cent to just five per cent meaning the party was left with no MEPs.

Pro EU parties, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party saw their share of the vote surge as Labour and the Conservatives suffered.

Labour’s Neena Gill retained her seat despite the party seeing its share of the vote drop by 9.8 per cent to 17 per cent, 0.7 per cent ahead of the Liberal Democrats in third who saw their vote rise by almost 11 per cent.

Lib Dems’ biggest ever gains

The result saw Sion Simon lose his seat for Labour but a return to the European Parliament for the Liberal Democrats Phil Bennion who lost his seat five years ago.

“This is a fantastic result in the West Midlands, following a successful local election campaign which gave us our biggest ever gains,” Mr Bennion said.

“I can guarantee I will turn up to the European Parliament to do the job I was elected to do; I’m not sure this is a guarantee all newly-elected MEPs can make. I will actively work on bettering the lives of the people in the UK and Europe.

“My priorities are clear – we tackle the climate emergency. Public services and jobs will be improved and – if we can stop Brexit – they will be protected.

“The people have voted on a clear mandate – that a vote for the Lib Dems is a vote to Stop Brexit, and work with our European colleagues to tackle the big challenges of our time,” he added.

Dr Ellie Chowns gained a seat for the Green Party who finished fourth as a 5.4 per cent increase in the vote saw the party poll more than 10 per cent.

“The public heard our message saying ‘yes to Europe, and no to climate breakdown’ and huge numbers flocked to support us,” she said.

“We have no idea how long British MEPs will serve – it could be a few months or it could be for years.

“I am proud of our area and I’ll be standing up for more fairness and equality, for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency – and of course to keep Britain strong and at the heart of Europe.”

Conservatives deserted

Conservatives deserted Voters across the West Midlands deserted the Conservatives who saw their share of the vote plummet by 14.3 per cent to just 10 per cent and fifth place in the poll.

The result also saw Dan Dalton lose his seat with long-serving MEP Anthea McIntyre the sole Conservative West Midlands voice returned to Brussels.

Newly-formed Change UK won just 3.4 per cent of the vote to finish bottom of the pile among West Midlands voters.

The West Midlands turnout was 31.1 per cent this year, down from 32.4 per cent.

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