UKIP wins South West EU election as Lib Dems falter
PUBLISHED: 09:14 30 May 2014 | UPDATED: 09:14 30 May 2014
UKIP and the Green Party were the big European Election winners in the South West, as voters turned their back on the Coalition Government.
Euro MEPs for South West England
Ashley Fox (Cons).
Clare Moody (Lab).
Julia Reid (UKIP).
Julie Girling (Cons).
Molly Scott Cato (Grrens).
William Dartmouth (UKIP).
The Conservatives and UKIP each will have two MEPs while Labour and the Green Party shared the remaining two seats, following Thursday’s ballot.
The South West result marked a major victory for UKIP with the party, led by Nigel Farage, receiving 140,000 more votes than in 2009 and almost a third of all votes cast.
They pushed the Conservatives down into second place, meaning the Tories lost their third MEP.
Labour gained one MEP after polling 13 per cent of the vote - nearly double what it achieved in 2009 - and it was narrowly ahead of the Green Party who secured its first-ever MEP.
Dr Molly Scott Cato, who took the sixth and final seat for the Green Party and used to live in Blagdon, said: “It is fantastic that the South West now has a Green voice in Europe.
“I would like to thank everyone who voted Green on Thursday, and I am looking forward to representing the South West in Brussels.”
But the biggest casualty on Sunday, when the results were announced, was Liberal Democrats stalwart Sir Graham Watson, who lost out on a seat for the first time in 20 years.
He said he was ‘disappointed but not terribly surprised’ by the result which saw his party retain just a single MEP in England and Wales.
Regionally, the Conservatives did best in the Mendip district, with UKIP coming out on top in Sedgemoor and North Somerset.
Polling stations were open on May 22, however turnout dropped compared with the last European election in 2009, with just 36.9 per cent of the electorate choosing to vote. Five years ago the turnout was nearly 39 per cent.