UK: Brexit party set to win, Tories slump to 10% – BBC projection
As results around the country begin to come in, Nigel Farage’s Brexit party is set to sweep to victory, with the Conservatives expected to win around 10% of the vote, according to a BBC projection.
The BBC has forecast that the Brexit Party will top the polls, with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats set to come second and the ruling Conservative party set to receive between 10 and 12% of the vote, down from 24% in 2014.
England: North-east declares
Haroon Siddique Haroon Siddique
The north-east is the first region to declare:
North East, result:
Brex: 2 MEPs (+2)
Lab: 1 (-1)
The Scottish Labour party vote has crashed in the first four Scottish council areas to report results, with the Scottish National party showing the jump in support predicted by the opinion polls. Many analysts had forecast that Scottish voters would desert Labour for firmly pro-remain parties such as the SNP, the Lib Dems or Greens.
Labour’s support in East Ayrshire fell by about 20 points, down to just 12.9%, while in Renfrewshire it fell by 23 points to 13.2% and in East Dunbartonshire it fell by 23 points to 15.9%. That suggests Labour will only just hold onto one of their two MEPs.
The SNP’s vote rose by between 7.7 in the Scottish Borders to 20.6% and 13 points in West Dunbartonshire, up to 45.4%.
Meanwhile, the Brexit party looked on course to supplant Ukip in Scotland by taking one seat, winning 18.9% in the Scottish Borders, chiefly at the expense of the Conservatives, and 16.4% in East Ayrshire.
The Brexit party came first in 13 of the first areas (not regions) to declare, with over 40% of the vote in five of those. The list is Corby (east Midlands), Folkestone & Hythe (south-east), Telford & Wrekin (West Midlands), Rugby (West Midlands), Southend (east of England), Sheffield (Yorkshire and the Humber), Newcastle upon Tyne (north-east), Durham (north-east), Wolverhampton (West Midlands), Wrexham (Wales), Cardiff (Wales), Pembrokeshire (Wales), and Sandwell (West Midlands).
The exception is Croydon in London, where Labour came first by a whisker.
Italy: Salvini's far-right League beats socialists and Five Star – exit poll
Matteo Salvini’s far-right League party is on course to come top in Italy’s European elections, according to exit polls released shortly after voting ended.
Salvini’s coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, is left fighting the Socialist party for second place.
The League could be the largest single party in the European parliament. But Nigel Farage’s Brexit party could also take that spot.
Italy, SWG exit poll:
FdI-ECR: 5-6%#ElezioniEuropee #ElezioniEuropee2019 #EP2019
UK: turnout up in Wales, falls in Northern Ireland
Councils in some areas have reported increased turnouts at this year’s European elections compared with 2014.
The turnout in Wales is up five percentage points on 2014 – 37.3% against 32% in the previous poll. However, the turnout for Northern Ireland, at 45.1%, is down from 51% in 2014, as voter apathy apparently takes hold in a nation still without a devolved government amid deadlock between the two main parties.
Turnout for the south-east is 39.36%, up from 36.3% in 2014, while in the West Midlands it dropped from 32.4% in 2014 to 31.1% this year. Turnout in the north-west is down from 33.3% in 2014 to 33.1% this year, while the north-east has 32.7%, slightly up from 31.6%.
In the south-west, a turnout of 40.5% has been recorded – three percentage points up on 37.4% in 2014, and the eastern region has 36.4%, similar to the 36.6% of 2014. In London, 41.3% of eligible voters turned out, up from 40.1% in 2014.
Elsewhere, the turnout in Yorkshire and the Humber is 33.52% – close to the 2014 figure of 33.66%. The lowest council turnout in the region was Hull at 24.03%, and the highest was Harrogate at 42.78%.
The 2014 turnout, only counting valid votes cast, across the whole of the UK was 35.4%, ranging from 30.9% in the north-east to 51% in Northern Ireland.
Results will be declared in the 12 UK regions from 10pm on Sunday, after the close of polls elsewhere in the EU.
Greece: PM calls early elections after defeat
Helena Smith Helena Smith
The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has called snap elections after his leftist Syriza party lost seats in the European elections.
With the centre right New Democracy opposition party on course to enjoy a 9.3% lead in European elections tonight, the leftist leader admitted the result fell short of expectations.
The scale of the defeat would have made it difficult for Tsipras’ Syriza government to be a credible interlocutor with international creditors still monitoring post-bailout Greece nine months after the debt-stricken country exited its third EU-IMF funded rescue programme.
The early election is expected to take place June 30th.
Speaking at party headquarters, Tsipras said:
There are two roads, the one of the many, or the one of renewed austerity.
It is up to the Greek people to decide.
Helen Pidd, the Guardian’s north of England editor, is at the count in Sunderland for the north-east and has spoken to the Brexit party’s lead candidate for the region, Brian Monteith.
He was a Conservative member of the Scottish parliament between 1999 and 2007, as well as a columnist for the Scotsman. Remarkably, he gave his address as being in Trevien, southern France, when he submitted his candidacy.
Jude Kirton-Darling, who hopes to be re-elected as a Labour MEP in the north-east, tweeted that it was “hypocritical that wealthy Brexiteers like him enjoy their freedom of movement whilst advocating stripping our young people of it”.
Monteith, who seems very confident he will be elected tonight, insisted he was not a hypocrite. “I don’t see any hypocrisy,” he told the Guardian on Sunday evening. “I believe I am just as much of a European as anyone in Norway or Switzerland or Iceland. But I am entitled to stand for the European parliament and I am entitled to vote.”
He said it was not unusual to live in a different country from the one in which you are seeking election, citing “my old friend David Steel”, the SDP politician who in 1989 accepted an invitation from Italian Liberals to stand for the European parliament.
“So it’s not unusual and in fact I am already in the throes of moving house back to the UK when I was invited to stand. The fact that France is my address as my main residence is neither here nor there,” said Monteith, who quit the Conservative party in 2005 after a row with the then Scottish Tory leader, David McLetchie.
As well as working as a journalist, Monteith says he is a “pen for hire” who has worked all over the world, in Uganda, Botswana, Trinidad and Tobago, Pakistan and Tunisia, and recently wrote a speech on climate change for the president of Nigeria. “I spend a great deal of my time not even in France.”
Asked by the Guardian if he would move to the north-east if elected, he said:
I will certainly consider it ... This is not like any other election. It’s not like a council election, about fixing the pavements, it’s not about the Scottish parliament or Westminster election, about fixing potholes in the street or creating laws. It’s about the European parliament election, which shouldn’t be taking place, and which I would rather were not taking place. It’s about making a statement to the British government, providing a voice to the people to send a message. So as long as I am a good communicator, a good campaigner, a good writer, which is my profession, then being located in, say, Gateshead or Durham, which are places I know well, is not a crucial point. Were it a different kind of election I would consider it more important.
He suggested he would not object to having to apply for a visa to visit his current French home, post-Brexit. “I do not need freedom of movement to determine where I work. If I need to go, as I have done earlier in the year, to the United States, I apply for a visa. If I have to work in Nigeria or Pakistan, I apply for a visa … I am not hypocritical because I accept the laws of other countries and I abide by them.”
But Richard Elvin, Ukip’s lead candidate in the north-east, suggested voters may regret voting for a candidate who lives abroad. “When the people of the north-east wake up and find their chief representative is a Thatcherite Scottish Tory who lives in France they may regret it ... I believe you should live in the constituency you represent. If you live in France, wow. As I speak German, why don’t I ask one of the German parties if I can stand in Germany?”
Portugal: Socialist party on course to win, as Greens break through
Three polls in Portugal suggest the governing Socialist party is on course for victory, winning eight or nine seats, followed by the conservative Social Democratic party with five to seven and the Left Bloc with two to three.
The green People-Animals-Nature party looks set to win its first seat.
The Press Association reports that the regional voting turnout figure for London in the European elections is 41.3%, up from 40.1% in 2014.
All 32 boroughs and the City of London have finished counting votes, it quotes the regional returning officer, Janet Senior, as saying.
Despite this, it has been reported that the London results will not be announced until 2am.
Greece: PM mulls early elections after crushing defeat
Will he or won’t he ? That is the question Greeks are asking in the run-up to an expected announcement from the PM, Alexis Tsipras, over possible snap polls following his leftist party’s crushing defeat in the European elections.
With Syriza trailing the centre-right New Democracy by 8.5 % ( and very possibly 9% once official results are announced), the opposition leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has called for the 44-year-old leader to resign immediately and call early elections.
Before the poll Tsipras had called the election a confidence vote in his government and promised to redress years of austerity with €1bn worth of handouts.
https://www.theguardian.com/politics/li ... s-may-live
...take your common sense with you, and leave your prejudices behind...