For the first time since 1910, neither the Conservatives nor Labour win a national election. That’s the scale of UKIP’s triumph in the Euro-elections. But was it really an earthquake, since turnout scarcely rose?
UKIP: Up 11 per cent to over 27 per cent of the vote. Up 10 MEPs to 23 in all. A massive achievement for Farage as the party wins seats in all regions.
Labour: Up ten per cent to 25 per cent of the vote. Up by seven MEPS to 18 in all. But it takes London to deliver it second place – and its the worst performance by an opposition party in our history of Euro-elections.
Conservatives: Down four per cent to 24 per cent of the vote. Down by seven MEPs to 18 in all. They’re third in an election for the first time in living memory – though only narrowly behind Labour.
Liberal Democrats: Down seven per cent to six per cent of the vote. Down by nine MEPS to…a single one. Clegg’s party comes in fifth behind the Greens, who now have two more seats in the European Parliament than Clegg’s party.
UKIP 1): Farage – Our People’s Army will defeat The Establishment
“The delighted party boss said: “Never before in the history of British politics has a party that will be seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election.” The staggering purple sweep exceeded even the anti-EU party chiefs’ wildest expectations At his own count in Southampton, Mr Farage added: “We have formed the people’s army to fight the establishment. “I love Europe, it’s the European Union I have a problem with.” – The Sun (£)
Patrick O’Flynn and Roger Helmer elected – Daily Express
UKIP 2) A powerful symbolic moment, as the Conservatives and Labour are ousted from top electoral spot for the first time since Asquith
“The Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems will acknowledge that this is a powerful symbolic moment: a party that was founded in 1993 has pulled ahead of all the established parties, whose roots date back more than 100 years. Ukip topped the poll in Doncaster, where Ed Miliband represents Labour and where Ukip plans to stage its autumn conference…The last time that Labour or the Conservatives failed to win a national election was in December 1910 when Herbert Asquith won the highest number of seats, though not the largest number of votes, in the general election for the Liberal party.” – The Guardian
- “Die europakritische Partei Ukip fährt in Großbritannien einen erdrutschartigen Sieg ein. Nun fordert Partei-Chef Farage nicht nur den Austritt der Briten, sondern das Ende der Europäischen Union” – Die Welt
- “In Großbritannien ist UKIP nach ersten Ergebnissen stärkste Partei” – Bild
- Die nationalistische und EU-feindliche Partei Ukip hat in Großbritannien bei der Europawahl triumphiert. Parteichef Nigel Farage sprach von einem Erdbeben, doch auch Premierminister Cameron könnte profitieren. – Frankfurter Allgemeine
> Yesterday: ToryDiary from Saturday’s Conservative Conference – No clear answer yet exists about how to deal with UKIP
Boris Johnson: This is a peasants’ revolt
“It is not just here in Britain where the main parties have all been figuratively slapped in the face with a wet kipper; the phenomenon has been repeated more or less across the whole European Union…There is a kind of peasants’ revolt going on, a jacquerie. From Dublin to Lublin, from Portugal to Pomerania, the pitchfork-wielding populists are converging on the Breydel building in Brussels – drunk on local hooch and chanting nationalist slogans and preparing to give the federalist machinery a good old kicking with their authentically folkloric clogs. There are Greek anti-capitalists and Hungarian neo-fascists and polite German professors who want to bring back the Deutschemark. They are making common cause with Left-wing Italian comedians and Right-wing Dutch firebrands and the general slogan is simple: down with technocracy, down with bureaucracy, and give power back to the people!” – Daily Telegraph
- We will continue our quest to leave the EU – Daily Express Editorial
- Europe’s Angry Fringe – Times Editorial (£)
- The politicians must listen – Daily Telegraph
- UKIP isn’t a protest, it’s a counter-revolution – Melanie Phillips, The Times (£)
- Britain joins the anti-EU tune played across the continent – Martin Kettle, The Guardian
- Ukip’s surge has shown the others what voters want – Leo McKinstry, Daily Express
- If multi-party politics is here to stay, some kind of electoral reform, with a more proportional element, will have to follow. – Tim Montgomerie, The Times (£)
The National Front tops the poll in France
“Marine Le Pen’s National Front topped the poll in France for the first time since the far-right party was founded by her father in 1972. It will be one of the biggest in the European Parliament. Austerity-hit voters in Greece, Austria, Germany, Denmark and elsewhere also punished incumbent pro-Brussels parties. Official estimates showed anti-EU parties winning 131 out of 751 seats, or 17 per cent. Turnout across Europe was 43 per cent, falling to 36 per cent in Britain.” – The Times (£)
- “En passant de 6,34 % à plus de 25 % entre 2009 et et 2014, avec une abstention assez similaire entre les deux scrutin (56,9 %, contre 59,37 % il y a cinq ans), le Front national réalise sans conteste un score record.” – Le Monde
Renzi wins in Italy, the extremes gain in Greece
“In Italy, Matteo Renzi recorded a thumping victory against Beppe Grillo’s eurosceptic Five Star Movement. In France and the UK – two of the three largest electorates after Germany– euro-sceptics topped the polls with a startling increase in support. In Greece, where economic austerity has been most brutal, the anti-EU vote split between the far-left Syriza, which topped the poll, and the far-right Golden Dawn.” – Financial Times
- “Matteo Renzi aveva detto che il voto europeo, sul fronte italiano, sarebbe stato un «derby» tra speranza e rabbia. E stando ai numeri quel derby alla fine lo ha vinto lui. Il Partito Democratico strappa il 40,9% dei consensi contro il 21 del Movimento 5 Stelle e il 16,7% di Forza Italia.” – Corriere della Sera
Neo-nazis set to win a seat in Germany. The AfD takes seven per cent. Wilders falls back
“The Danish People’s party also did well. In Germany, the NPD neo-Nazi party was set to win one seat in the assembly for the first time while the anti-euro Alternative für Deutschland took an expected 7 per cent. Austria’s FPÖ, was set to finish third with 20 per cent – against 12.7 per cent in 2009. A fall in votes for the Dutch far-right Freedom party (PVV) led by Geert Wilders went against the broader anti-EU sentiment.” – Financial Times (£)
- “Die AfD ist der Stimmenstaubsauger des Wahlabends. Im Vergleich zur Bundestagswahl 2013 nahm die Alternative für Deutschland CDU und CSU über eine halbe Million Stimmen. 180.000 Stimmen bekam sie von Bürgern, die im September noch SPD gewählt hatten. Aber auch von Linken, FDP und Grünen zog die AfD, die in allen Altersgruppen punkten konnte, Stimmen im fünf- und sechsstelligen Bereich. Insgesamt holte die AfD 890.000 Stimmen von ihren Konkurrenten.” – Spiegel
Europe’s eccentric extremists
- The Italian who set fire to the pallets of migrants sleeping under a bridge in Turin.
- The Bulgarian with links to organised crime who carries a gun to Parliament.
- The retired general who once commanded the Greek army’s special forces, and whose party believes that Hitler was a “great social reformer”.
- The Czech who slapped a journalist last year after he was confronted for signing in to the European Parliament just to claim his daily allowance.
- The Hungarian who told Jews to “go back to playing with their tiny little circumcised tails”. The Pole who thinks that women should not be allowed to vote because they “do not understand politics”.
- The Austrian who said of Portuguese and Sicilians: “We don’t take them seriously only because they are only 1.6 metres tall” – The Sun (£)
Labour 1) Saved from third place by its London result
“Labour’s London result – in which it won 37% and beat the Tories by a massive 310,000 votes – pushed the Conservatives into third place nationally in the European elections. The Conservatives won 22% in London against Ukip’s 17%, followed by the Greens on 9% and the Lib Dems on 7%. Labour’s re-elected lead MEP, Claude Moraes, declared an “extraordinary” result for his party, while Labour MP Sadiq Khan, who has been spearheading Labour’s campaign in the London area, said the party’s performances in London at the local and European elections were its best since 1971.” – The Guardian
Labour 2) Ferocious infighting between Alexander and Dugher camps
“Michael Dugher, who as shadow cabinet minister was put in charge of the “grid”, has been held responsible by colleagues for some of the mishaps in the campaign. Senior Labour sources cited three problems: the way the daily “grid” was managed to ensure that announcements are made for maximum impact; Mr Dugher’s failure to turn up to meetings; and his failure to promote younger shadow cabinet members into the public eye. Allies of Mr Dugher reacted with anger at the criticism, insisting that, as campaign co-ordinator, Douglas Alexander was in control and deliberately excluded people from certain meetings.” – The Times (£)
Labour 3) Balls, Reeves, Shadow Cabinet were “shut out” of campaign
“Rachel Reeves, a senior member of the Shadow Cabinet, warned her leader that he needed to do more than just come up with new policies – he needed to explain them too. She said: ‘We need to understand why people are voting for Ukip and make the emotional case as well as the policy case for why they should be voting Labour…Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said the performance was ‘not good enough’, while insiders said the strategy to concentrate the campaign on Mr Miliband – with other members of the cabinet ‘shut out’ – had failed disastrously.” – Daily Mail
Labour 4) Backbenchers press for referendum
“Miliband will be put under pressure from Labour MPs calling on him to promise a referendum on Europe in the wake of the Euro elections. Fifteen Labour MPs have already urged Mr Miliband to match David Cameron’s promise of a referendum and will renew their demand as a way to limit the threat from Ukip at next year’s general election. Several Labour MPs believe Ukip’s advance in last Thursday’s local and European elections showed it could win working class votes and deprive Labour of victory in key marginal seats where Labour and the Conservatives are in a tight race.” – The Independent
Et tu, Kevin? Maguire puts knife in: “If anyone can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it’s Miliband”
“Miliband unforgivably handed his rivals a Boston Red Sox baseball bat with which to beat him and his party. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is a calamitous own goal. The uncomfortable truth for Miliband and Labour is he is a geeky Weird Ed. One of his Shadow Ministers under his breath calls him Forrest Gump. Gump was a genius behind the slow-wittedness, but unless Labour grasp how to present Miliband he may never get the chance to prove what he can do.” – Daily Mirror
- Who cares if Ed looks weird? It’s politicians who pretend to be normal I really fear – Dominic Lawson, Daily Mail
LibDems 1) Clegg in danger as they hold one solitary seat
“The Lib Dems collapsed to just 6 per cent, narrowly ahead of the Green party on five per cent. In the East Midlands, Ukip gained a seat to take two, the Tories won two seats, and Labour one. The Lib Dems lost their one seat. Lib Dem grandee Sir Graham Watson also lost his seat in the South West, with the Green party taking his place. Catherine Bearder held her seat in the South East, making her the only Lib Dem in Brussels when they previously had 12.” – Daily Mail
LibDems 2) Ashen-faced Ministers reel
“The poor performance, worse than in the 1994 elections when it won two seats under the old first-past-the-post system, prompted renewed calls for Clegg to resign….A grim-faced Danny Alexander, the Lib Dem chief secretary to the Treasury who is Clegg’s closest cabinet ally, said: “Apart from Catherine Bearder’s election in the south-east it has been a pretty awful night for the Liberal Democrats. People have used European elections over many parliaments to have a go at the government in office.” Party MPs made little attempt to shy away from the party’s poor performance.” – The Guardian
LibDems 3) It’s Operation Save Nick. Ashdown and Campbell wade in. But where’s Cable?
“Sir Menzies Campbell will today join another former leader, Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, in defending Mr Clegg from the attempted putsch. Mr Farron said it would be “foolish” for the party to engage in a lengthy succession battle before next year’s general election. Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay, an ally of another potential successor, Vince Cable, is being blamed by the leader’s staff for fomenting the rebellion against Mr Clegg.” – The Times (£)
> Yesterday: The threat to Clegg is a threat to the Coalition
Conservatives 1) Down to third – but it could have been worse
“Conservative sources said the party expected to finish third, although closer to the Labour share of the vote than many had expected. The result is the latest sign of how the Conservatives are struggling to curb the rise of Ukip in recent years…Still, Tory sources last night pointed out that the party’s share of the vote had barely fallen in south-west England and in Wales. In Scotland, where Ukip was on course for its first MEP, the Conservative vote actually rose…William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said that voters who backed Ukip in the European elections would come back to the Tories next year.” – Daily Telegraph
Conservatives 2) Callanan defeated and Newark endangered
“One of the first Tory scalps was Martin Callanan, who had led the Conservative MEPs in Brussels – edged out as Ukip took its first seat in the northeast. Tory leader David Cameron faces a difficult Westminster by-election next month as his party seeks to hold Newark in the East Midlands. In the European voting, however, Ukip was ahead of the Tories in the wider Newark and Sherwood district, with 10,027 votes to the Conservatives’ 9,641.” – Financial Times
- Hammond: most former Tory votes who’ve deserted for UKIP will return – Daily Telegraph
- May waters down migration target – The Guardian
- IDS plans to deport out-of-work migrants – Daily Express
> Today: The Deep End – Theresa May and the future of the Conservative Party
Conservatives 3) Now the Prime Minister will seek to win one of the big Commission portfolios for Britain
“The centre-right European People’s party, expected to emerge as the biggest group in the European parliament, has nominated former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker as the next European Commission president. Mr Cameron opposes his appointment.
– The Times (£)
Trevor Kavanagh: Cameron is still on course to win the next election – thanks to the recovery
“Despite the tremors, the Tories were least harmed and I am still betting on David Cameron as PM in a Tory government with a small outright majority. He will have only himself to blame if he fails. A Tory victory has been on the cards since the UK economy and jobs market began its world-beating recovery earlier this year and nothing happened last week to change that. More than a million Tory defectors who angrily made their point by voting Ukip will return to the fold by May 7 next year. Nothing on that scale is in prospect for Labour or Lib Dems.” – The Sun (£)
- How the Tory machine made third a good place – James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
- A terrifying vision to sharpen Tory minds – Daily Mail Editorial
> Today: Edward Leigh MP on Comment: The lesson of these Euro-elections: Modernisation has failed. Get back to real conservatism. End the Coalition now.
Scotland: A difficult night for Salmond
- No third seat for the SNP. UKIP gains an MEP for the first time. The Conservatives keep an MEP. Labour vote well up – Scotsman
- Police investigate threatening message sent to Labour MSP from suspected cybernates mentioning her children – Daily Telegraph
- Scotland set-up costs “to be £1.5 billion” – The Guardian
Wales: Labour back in charge
- Labour tops poll. UKIP second. Conservatives, first in 2009, are third. Labour, UKIP, the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru each retain a seat – Wales Online
Northern Ireland: Results later
- Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan is first MEP to be elected in Dublin – Belfast Telegraph
Elsewhere: BNP out
- Griffin loses seat – The Independent
> Today: ToryDiary – What do the European election results mean for each party?
> Yesterday: European Elections results blog
Election night TV
- “Neil Hamilton looked smug – no change there – while Angela Eagle sounded just bored.” – John Crace, The Guardian
News in Brief
- Gove Bans 1) Petyr Baelish to be excluded from Britain’s classrooms as the Education Secretary bars Mockingbird – BBC
- Gove Bans 2) Parents launch judicial review into his decision to stop families taking term-time holidays – Daily Mail
- Syria’s most bloodthirsty jihadists ‘are British’ – The Times (£)
- UK in race to issue Islamic bond – Financial Times
- Israel will ‘speak to the Vatican’ about Pope’s unscheduled stop near an Israeli-built barricade – Daily Telegraph
- Belgian police hunt gunman after Jewish museum murders – The Guardian
- Aunt of California massacre shooter pleas to Obama for action against gun crime – Daily Express
- Prince William wants to fly helicopters again – The Sun (£)
- The darker side of 50 Shades of Grey – The Independent
- Why banning bank holidays would make us all happier – Janet Street-Porter, Daily Mail