UKIP surge in early European Parliament election results

Someone gave Farage a bottle of cheap red wine to celebrate – and then it was off down the pub. Well, two pubs, actually

BBC – UKIP appears to be on course to top the poll in the European elections, with the first results starting to come in.

Labour are significantly up on their 2009 vote – the worst result in the party’s modern history.

The Conservatives are down slightly – but the Lib Dems are down nearly 8%, raising fears they could be beaten into fifth by the Green Party.

A total of 73 MEPs will be elected from nine regions in England as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said his party was on track to win the European elections, which “will be an earthquake because never before in the history of British politics has a party seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election.”

But Martin Callanan, the former chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group who lost his seat as an MEP for the north east, urged his party “not to panic,” but “to be calm, to be reflective… The next election will not be determined on European policy.”

Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said UKIP had tapped into people’s disaffection with politics, adding that it was important to her party that Labour beat the Tories into second place.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander did not rule out the Liberal Democrats finishing fifth behind the Green Party – but said he expected to retain some MEPs.

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The first photo is from a piece at The Daily Mail.  More photos at the link.