Brexit Party punishes Tories and Labour in West Midlands EU vote
Catch up on the results from the West Midlands EU vote.
Voters punished the Conservative Party for the Brexit debacle – and turned away from Labour too.
The Brexit Party, only set up by Nigel Farage to contest the EU elections, made huge gains, with the Conservative Party paying the price.
The Liberal Democrats were the other big winners of the Euro elections, with the party’s pro-remain stance bringing back large numbers of voters who abandoned them following the 2010 decision to form a coalition government with the Conservatives.
- Tories face ‘existential’ threat after ‘worst ever’ result
- Corbyn hints Labour may shift towards supporting second referendum
- Vince Cable: Liberal Democrats ‘strongest Remain force in British politics’
- Greens push Tories into fifth place as support surges
The Brexit Party took three of the West Midlands’ seven MEP seats.
Rupert Lowe, one-time chairman of Southampton Football Club, Martin Daubney, ex-editor of Loaded magazine, and Andrew Kerr have been elected for the party.
WATCH: Joy and despair at election count
In his acceptance speech, Mr Lowe said: "I want to thank the West Midlands constituents, what I call real people...
"They believe in their community, they believe in their country and they have supported this democratic movement to try and ensure we end up with a sovereign democracy at Westminster.
"We will be working tirelessly now to try and ensure common sense prevails."
Labour and the Tories both lost a seat, securing one each for Neena Gill and Anthea McIntyre respectively.
Ms Gill, who was returned to the European Parliament, was jeered as she attacked the Brexit Party for promoting "division and destructiveness".
The Greens and Lib Dem candidates also took one seat each.
It was a comeback for Liberal Democrat Phil Bennion who lost his seat in 2014.
And Ellie Chowns secured the West Midlands seat for the Greens.
Outgoing MEP Bill Etheridge, who stood for UKIP in 2014 but had been backing the new Brexit Party in recent weeks, offered his congratulations to the party's colleagues.
He said: "I still have s few weeks left of officially being an MEP but I want to give my warm congratulations to the Brexit MEPs who will now represent the West Midlands. Do us proud lads."
Mr Farage’s party won the popular vote across the Black Country, although Labour still finished on top in Birmingham.
In Wolverhampton the Brexit Party led the way with 18,110 votes, ahead of Labour in second place with 13,706.
Sandwell saw Labour beaten into second place by the Brexit Party in the narrowest of margins, with 21,924 votes to 21,335.
The Brexit Party again topped the polls in South Staffordshire with 14,068 votes.
The Conservative narrowly claimed second place with 3,740 votes to the Lib Dems’ 3,578.
Results from across the region were last night being collated in Birmingham before the seven West Midlands seats were distributed to reflect the vote. The Brexit Party’s dominance in the West Midlands was replicated across the country.
In contrast, Change UK, and UKIP both returned disappointing results. The Remain vote appeared to be split between several parties, with The Liberal Democrats, The Green Party, Change UK and Labour all potentially picking up voters who want to remain in the EU.
The overall turnout for the West Midlands region was 33.10 per cent, with 1,355,222 of an eligible 4,094,486 casting their votes. The lowest overall turnout in the region came in Stoke on Trent, where it was 26.53 per cent, while Malvern Hills was the highest with 43.27 per cent.
Turnout in Dudley was 30.27, in Sandwell it was 27.93 per cent, in Walsall it was 28.72 per cent, and in Wolverhampton it was 28.76.
The European elections took place almost three years after the UK voted to leave the EU because of Theresa May’s failure to get her Brexit deal through Parliament.
They have brought another damaging blow for the Tories after a distinctly lacklustre campaign – and voters have deserted Labour too, with West Midlands MP Tom Watson to describing a “sense of despair” in the party.
Jubilant Brexit Party leader Mr Farage said: “We did it once, they ignored us. We’re telling them again.”