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Ukip rocks political rivals in European elections success

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[gallery]   Nigel Farage today claimed victory in the European elections, saying he had delivered an "earthquake" in politics as Ukip sent more MEPs than ever to Brussels.

The party won three out of seven seats in the West Midlands based on its share of the vote, as 428,010 voters backed it. One its new MEPs is Shropshire's Jill Seymour, a parish councillor in Kynnersley near Telford.

Labour won two with 363,033 and the Tories got two with 330,470.

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The Liberal Democrats lost their only MEP – and now have only one Euro MP in the whole country – while two former Ukip MEPs, Mike Nattrass and Nikki Sinclaire, failed to hold the seats they were trying to win as independents with new parties they set up themselves.

In Wales, Labour just beat Ukip as the two parties, along with the Tories and Plaid Cymru, each retained one seat each.

Mr Farage said: "Ukip is going to win this election and, yes, that will be an earthquake because 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.

"The people's army of Ukip have spoken and have delivered just about the most extraordinary result in British politics for 100 years."

Ukip came top in both Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin according to the breakdown of results.

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In Shropshire the party won 25,759 votes, compared with 24,920 for the Conservatives, 11,185 for Labour and 6,697 for the Liberal Democrats. In Telford and Wrekin, Ukip pushed Labour into second, getting 15,417 votes compared with Labour's 10,631.

The Tories were a close third on 10,452.

Jill Seymour said: "Quite simply the British public is fed up of the same old rhetoric and spin. They are fed up of the same old repetitive lines from the Lib Lab Con."

Conservative MEP Philip Bradbourn, who kept his seat, said: "They are a force to be reckoned with and we have to acknowledge that. We all do. They don't just take votes from the Conservatives. There are a number of different factors, not least people feeling disaffected with politics."

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Sion Simon, one two Labour MEPs, elected this morning, said: "This is about jobs, growth and investment. It's about the economy and how a powerful institution can make a difference to people's lives."

The list of West Midlands winners is:

  • Jill Seymour (UKIP)
  • Neena Gill (Labour)
  • Philip Bradbourn (Conservative)
  • Jim Carver (UKIP)
  • Sion Simon (Labour)
  • Anthea McIntyre (Conservative)
  • Bill Etheridge (UKIP)

Independent MEP Nikki Sinclaire conceded defeat at 10pm, before the results were announced. The 46-year-old was originally an MEP for UKIP in 2009 but left the party in a row over its grouping with 'extreme right wing' parties in the Brussels Parliament.

In a statement Miss Sinclaire said: "My supporters will be disappointed, and naturally I am too.

"It has been an honour and a pleasure to represent 5.2 million constituents over the past five years. I have met thousands of people in my role, getting involved in community projects and giving a voice to the voiceless, and lending an ear when others simply wouldn't listen.

"I'm also proud of the campaign we ran here in the West Midlands, far larger than anybody had ever seen before, and many thanks to those who spent time talking to me and the team on the campaign trail.

"More importantly, thank you to everybody who took the time to vote for me on Thursday and for those who have stood by me."

The Tories were defending three seats and retained two. Philip Bradbourn and Anthea McIntyre were re-elected while Dan Dalton failed to replace retiring MEP Malcolm Harbour. Labour improved upon the one member Ed Miliband's party had in the West Midlands. Michael Cashman is retiring and former MEP Neena Gill won her bid to return to Brussels five years after losing her seat. Former Erdington MP Sion Simon also successfully stood for Labour but former Stourbridge MP Lynda Waltho missed. The Liberal Democrats lost their only West Midlands seat, held by Phil Bennion. UKIP won two in 2009 but its MEPs Mike Nattrass and Miss Sinclaire had both since quit the party and formed their own Eurosceptic groups. They are each trying to defend their seats tonight.

But UKIP replaced them as candidates with Jill Seymour, and umbrella maker James Carver. New Dudley councillor Bill Etheridge, elected to Sedgley on Thursday, won the third seat for UKIP.

No European was country allowed to reveal anything until after polls had closed across the continent. Italy was still voting yesterday so counts had to wait until polling stations there had been shut.

Turnout across the West Midlands was just over 33 per cent, with less than 1.4m people voting out of an electorate of 4.1m.

By Political Editor Daniel Wainwright

See also:

  • Star comment: Time for MPs to see the light
  • This was no protest vote, says Ukip
  • Deja vu as Welsh winners hold on to seats in European elections
  • Christopher Gill: Ukip are here for the long term

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