Labour top Euro polls in Lancashire

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Labour has come top of the polls for the North West in the European elections on a night dominated nationally by UKIP.

The Labour party took three seats with the largest number of votes, closely followed by UKIP which also claimed three of the eight available seats across the region.

The Tories, who triumphed in 2009, finished third with two seats.

One of the biggest casualties of the night was BNP leader Nick Griffin, who lost his seat. The Liberal Democrats also lost their only seat.

Speaking after the count last night, UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall, who kept hold of his seat, said: “The age of four party politics has arrived.”

The Labour party took 33.9 per cent of the vote, an increase of 13.5 per cent. UKIP took 27.5 per cent, an increase of 11.6 per cent.

The Tories took a 20.1 per cent share of the votes, a decrease of 5.6 per cent and the Lib Dems took just six per cent, a decrease of 8.3 per cent.

And the BNP took a 1.9 per cent share, a decrease of 6.1 per cent.

The other parties took a 10.7 per cent share, a decrease of 5.1 per cent.

Nationally UKIP stormed ahead in the polls.

Nigel Farage declared the national result as an “earthquake” in British politics.

He 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.”

Across the UK as a whole, 73 MEPs were voted in to sit in the 754-member European Parliament for the next five years.

In total 1.7m people across the North West voted - or 33 per cent of the electorate.

Voters went to the ballot box on Thursday but the results were only announced last night after polls closed across Europe. The count took place at Manchester Town Hall.

Lancashire’s voters are grouped with Cumbria, Cheshire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside in the North West region to elect eight MEPs through proportional representation (PR).

Ten parties put up eight candidates each in the region. An 11th - the Pirate Party UK - put up three but failed to win a seat.

Under the PR system electors vote for a party, not an individual. The total vote for each party in the region decides how many of the North West’s eight seats they take, with candidates listed in order of preference. Other parties which had candidates standing in the North West were The Green Party, An Independence from Europe, English Democrats, No2EU and the Socialist Equality Party.

In 2009, the Tories took three seats in the North West, with Labour bagging two, UKIP one and BNP leader Nick Griffin taking the other.