North West European elections 2014 round-up: Victory for Labour as BNP and Lib Dems wiped off map

Labour gained a third seat among the eight North West MEPs on Sunday after securing 33.9% of the vote.

UKIP also now have three North West MEPs, while the Conservatives hold just two seats after gaining only 20.1% of the North West vote, leaving the Lib Dems and BNP nowhere to be seen.

Labour’s latest victory comes just days after wiping out the remaining nine Liberal Democrats in the Manchester local elections.

During her acceptance speech new lead MEP for the North West, Theresa Griffin, was quick to address the departure of BNP leader Nick Griffin. She said: “The BNP have left the building!”

The former Liverpool councillor went on to slam the ‘failed policies and broken promises’ of the coalition government.

Despite the departure of right-wing BNP from the European Parliament, many fear that UKIP’s success nationally as well as in the North West could compromise both the UK’s position in the European Parliament and the outcome of the 2015 general election.

UKIP made national history last night by becoming the first party to top a national poll since December 1910 that wasn’t Labour or the Conservatives, winning 27.5% of the British votes.

However, with only 33.8% of the British electorate actually voting, UKIP’s victory came from the votes of only around 9% of the voting population.

The turnout in the North West increased from 2009 by just under 2% to 33.66%.

AT THE COUNT: Waiting for the tellers to finish counting

The Greens missed out on a North West seat for the second time in a row, after previously missing the 2009 threshold by just 0.3%, much to the pleasure of the BNP.

Before the final numbers were announced Green candidate Peter Craine was cautiously optimistic.

He told MM: “I’ll be nervous until the results come in, but we expect to improve on last time. It’s time the North West had a Green Party MP.”

The Greens performed well in Manchester and Liverpool, picking up votes from not only their core demographic of young people, but also from discontented Lib Dems and Tories who support their anti-fracking policies.

Newly-elected Labour MEPs Theresa Griffin and Afzal Khan have replaced Arlene McCarthy and Brian Simpson who both stood down this year. Filling Labour’s additional third seat is Julie Ward.

VICTORIOUS: Newly-elected MEPs are delighted with the win

Joining re-elected MEP Paul Nuttall in the UKIP seats are Louise Bours and Stephen Woolfe after drawing in 27.5% of the North West votes – an increase of almost 12% on the 2009 results.

The Conservatives however lost a seat in the North West vote after seeing a 5.5% decrease in votes on 2009 meaning that returning MEP Jacqueline Foster will be joined by Sajjad Karim who was the first British Muslim elected to European Parliament in June 2004.

Following the final declaration, UKIP MEP, Paul Nuttall declared: “The age of four-party politics is here.”

NEW POLITICAL ERA: Paul Nuttall declares new ‘age of four-party politics’

In response Tory MEP Jacqueline Foster attacked Mr Nuttall and UKIP for doing nothing in the European Parliament and said her party would aim to form a majority at the general election.

The three-times elected MEP said: “I’m incredibly honoured to serve the people of the North West.”

Speaking to MM earlier in the evening, Ms Foster boasted of her party’s long history in employment rights and addressed immigration concerns.

She said: “It’s time the British people have a say and we trust the people to make the right decision.”

HONOURED: Tory MEP Jacqueline Foster was deligted at her re-election

She said the voting public were not racist, but were voting for UKIP because it promoted policies that addressed their concerns.

“UKIP have played their card over Europe but people will come back into the fold. We are the party with the answers” added the Liverpool-born MEP.

The former aviation industry consultant also remained confident about her party’s future in Europe. She said: “Good times and bad, we always come back.”

Earlier in the evening, protesters gathered outside Manchester Town Hall in anticipation of the arrival of BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Reports around the town hall revealed that despite the council requesting that Mr Griffin enter the building discreetly through a side door the former MEP insisted on arriving across Albert Square where he was ‘welcomed’ by placards and protesters shouting ‘Nazis scum’ and ‘Griffin gone!’.

The evening went from bad to worse for Mr Griffin as he lost his MEP seat after winning just under 2% of the entire North West vote.

The BNP leader later fell victim to a BBC light which accidently hit his head with unconfirmed reports that he was punched twice and hit with a placard by protesters also added to his injuries for the evening.

Nick Griffin repeatedly blamed the ‘liberal elite’ for his party’s failure to gather enough votes for re-election.

TENSE TIMES: Awaiting the North West European election result

Speaking at the Town hall, he dismissed the anti-fascist protesters as ‘part of the job’ and said he was ‘not fussed about people throwing things out there’.

The departing MEP also addressed the rise of UKIP who he called an ‘ultra-Thatcherite’ party.

He said: “It’s not a vote against us, it’s a vote against the liberal elite. People think voting UKIP will achieve something.

“They will realise they are being conned by UKIP. I expect to be back in five years’ time.”

He went on to claim he knew what the outcome would be for the BNP but said: “I think all parties have felt tremors tonight.”

The European elections also proved to be a nightmare for Liberal Democrats up and down the country.

In the North West Chris Davies lost his MEP seat, which he had held since 1999, after the Lib Dems polled in fifth position, behind the Greens with just 6% of the vote.

Nationally the Liberal Democrats managed to cling onto one remaining MEP seat in the South East, but their national share of the UK vote fell to just under 7%.

The latest elections, both local and European, have been a blow for the coalition government. 

North West MEPS

Labour: Theresa Griffin, Afzal Khan, Julie Ward

UKIP: Paul Nuttall, Louise Bours, Steven Woolfe

Conservative: Jacqueline Foster, Sajjad Karim

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