The European Parliament Elections took place on Thursday but we were unable to get the results until yesterday as the rest of the EU had to hold their elections over the weekend. It was predicted that the Brexit Party would do well in the East Midlands region and the party didn’t disappoint, and neither did the Liberal Democrats.
The last European Parliament Elections in 2014 returned 2 UKIP; 1 Labour and 2 Conservative MEPs. The elections have radically redrawn the makeup of the East Midlands 5 MEP’s, saw the first East Midlands MEPs for the Brexit Party and the first elected Liberal Democrat elected since Nick Clegg left the European Parliament in 2004.
This year saw the emergence of the two single issue Political Parties, the Brexit Party and Change UK/ The Independent Group, the contrast between their performances is stark. There is a heavy concentration of Change UK MPs in the East Midlands with two in the Nottingham area alone, but there is clearly not a high concentration of Change UK support in this area. In Anna Soubry’s constituency of Broxtowe ranked 6th with just 4.7% of the vote just 0.7% higher than the UKIP vote.
|Party||MEPs elected||Votes cast|
|Simon Rood (Ind.)||0||4,511|
The new cadre of the East Midlands MEP’s are as follows:
- Annunziata Rees-Mogg (Brexit Party)
- Jonathan Bullock (Brexit Party)
- Matthew Patten (Brexit Party)
- William Newton-Dunn (Lib Dems)
- Rory Palmer (Labour)
The East Midlands was one of the highest Leave voting regions in the UK, Boston recorded the highest leave vote in the Country with 75% of the electorate voting to leave. So it was to be expected that the Brexit Party would do well in our region and most projections showed the Brexit Party taking two MEP seats but it was unexpected that there would be 3 Brexit Party MEPs for this region.
For a party that is only a few months old the Brexit party performed exceedingly well, it received just over double the amount of votes than the Liberal Democrats who placed second overall. The same cannot be said for Change UK which recieved less votes than UKIP, which was nationally wiped out, having lost all 24 of its MEPs from the last election. Change UK founders rushed to limit the damage, spokesman Chuka Umunna blamed the parties poor performance on the youth of the party and admitted that the party had made mistakes, interim party leader Heidi Allen raised the possibility of some form of cooperation with the Liberal Democrats.
This election wiped out both UKIP and the Conservatives from the East Midlands and nationally. Before at the 2014 election the Conservatives secured 19 MEP’s and had an MP in most of the UK’s regions, today the Conservatives footprint in the European Parliament has been reduced to 4 and has been confined to mainly to south of England with 1 in Scotland. For UKIP it is worse, from a major political player in 2014, becoming the first party, which was not one of the two main parties at Westminster to win a national election, to an fringe political grouping.
While the East Midlands results show there still a strong desire for Brexit, this was not the case nationwide, The Brexit Party gained 29 out of the 73 UK MEPs, which has made them the largest Party in the European Parliament, but with the split between remain parties and a low turnout has not made it clearer for MPs to see if Brexit voters are still in the majority and if so, what support no deal brexit has. This has resulted in renewed calls for a second EU referendum or a General Election.