UKIP storm to victory in EU elections

East Midlands UKIP candidates Margot Parker, Roger Helmer, Nigel Wickens, Barry Mahoney and Jonathan Bullock
East Midlands UKIP candidates Margot Parker, Roger Helmer, Nigel Wickens, Barry Mahoney and Jonathan Bullock

The UK Independence Party upset the political applecart in the East Midlands - and beyond - claiming two of the five Member of European Parliament seats up for grabs in the region at the EU elections.

Nationally, UKIP stormed to victory at last week’s poll, winning 27 per cent of the entire vote which equates to a massive 24 MEPs.

Nigel Farage’s party beat the Labour Party into second and the Conservatives into third, with the Liberal Democrats languishing in fifth place in England, behind even the Green Party.

In the East Midlands constituency, UKIP finished on top with 368,734 votes - just under a third of the votes - winning them two of the five MEPs.

The candidates who have been awarded seats are veteran and former Conservative Roger Helmer, who is also standing in the Newark by-election next week, and Margot Parker.

Taking to his Twitter account, Mr Helmer said: “UKIP is the first new party for a hundred years to win a national election. I feel both proud and humbled to have been part of it.”

Margot Parker said after her victory: “We have had a solid response back from people and actually, in Nottingham, I can recall crossing the square and people actually coming across to shake our hands.

“It was enough to see the purple rosette.”

The Conservative Party finished second in the region, claiming 291,270 votes, and also has two MEPs - Emma McClarkin and Andrew Lewer, the former leader of Derbyshire County Council.

Labour came third with 279,363 votes, meaning Glenis Wilmott retained her seat in Brussels, but long-standing Lib Dem MEP Bill Newton-Dunn lost his seat after nearly 30 years in the role.

He said that the Lib Dems need to find a better way to get their message across.

“We have got the right message, Britain has got to stay in Europe, but we have not got it across,” he said.

Turnout was just under 33 per cent across the East Midlands, down on 2009.

In Mansfield, turnout was even lower, with just 28 per cent of the electorate exercising their right to vote.

UKIP finished in first place, claiming 8,761 of the 21,874 votes cast, beating Labour into second place with 6,621 votes.

The Ashfield area was also won by UKIP, with 9,998 votes of the 26,703 cast. Turnout was 30 per cent.

Labour was second with 7,830 votes, the Conservatives third and the Liberal Democrats, which has seats in both local councils in Ashfield, came a distant fourth with 1,973 votes.