Europe 2009: United Kingdom Results
As expected, the UK Euro results were marked by an unprecedented defeat for the governing Labour Party and also a drop in already very low turnout (though much smaller than earlier predicted, thankfully). Euro elections in the UK are held in twelve regional constituencies with a threshold of 5% in each, with seats allocated through proportional representation. Only Northern Ireland uses the single-transferable vote system, which is also used in all other Northern Irish elections. Prior to 1999, the UK was the only European country to elect MEPs via FPTP. The UK’s delegation has been reduced from 75 to 72 since 2004. For that reason, the results table gives the seat change including the loss of 3 seats nationally but also (second number) the relative seat change, using results for 72 seats in 2004.
Conservative 27.7% (+1.0%) winning 25 seats (-2/+1)
UKIP 16.5% (+0.3%) winning 13 seats (+1/+1)
Labour 15.7% (-6.9%) winning 13 seats (-6/-5)
Liberal Democrats 13.7% (-1.2%) winning 11 seats (-1/+1)
Green Party 8.6% (+2.4%) winning 2 seats (nc)
British National Party 6.2% (+1.3%) winning 2 seats (+2/+2)
Scottish National Party 2.1% (-+0.7%) winning 2 seats (nc)
Plaid Cymru 0.8% (-0.1%) winning 1 seat (nc)
Results by region (all parties over 5% and the best party under 5%):
South East England: Con 34.8% (4), UKIP 18.8% (2), LD 14.1% (2), Green 11.6% (1), Lab 8.2% (1), BNP 4.4%
London: Con 27.4% (3), Lab 21.3% (2), LD 13.7% (1), Green 10.9% (1), UKIP 10.8% (1), BNP 4.9%
North West England: Con 25.6% (3), Lab 20.4% (2), UKIP 15.8% (1), LD 14.3% (1), BNP 8% (1), Green 7.7%, ED 2.4%
East of England: Con 31.2% (3), UKIP 19.6% (2), LD 13.8% (1), Lab 10.5% (1), Green 8.8%, BNP 6.1%, UK First 2.4%
South West England: Con 30.2% (3), UKIP 22.1% (2), LD 17.2% (1), Green 9.3%, Lab 7.7%, BNP 3.9%
West Midlands: Con 28.1% (2), UKIP 21.3% (2), Lab 17% (1), LD 12% (1), BNP 8.6%, Green 6.2%, ED 2.3%
Yorkshire and the Humber: Con 24.5% (2), Lab 18.8% (1), UKIP 17.4% (1), LD 13.2% (1), BNP 9.8% (1), Green 8.5%, ED 2.6%
Scotland: SNP 29.1% (2), Lab 20.8% (2), Con 16.8% (1), LD 11.5% (1), Green 7.3%, UKIP 5.2%, BNP 2.5%
East Midlands: Con 30.2% (2), Lab 16.9% (1), UKIP 16.4% (1), LD 12.3% (1), BNP 8.7%, Green 6.8%, ED 2.3%
Wales: Con 21.2% (1), Lab 20.3% (1), Plaid 18.5% (1), UKIP 12.8% (1), LD 10.7%, Green 5.6%, BNP 5.4%, Christian 1.9%
North East England: Lab 25% (1), Con 19.8% (1), LD 17.6% (1), UKIP 15.4%, BNP 8.9%, Green 5.8%, ED 2.2%
Northern Ireland: SF 26% (1), DUP 18.2% (1), UCU-F 17.1% (1), SDLP 16.2%, TUV 13.6%, Alliance 5.6%, Green 3.2%
The map and result table above show the extent of the Labour rout. Third place, behind UKIP, and losing in Labour’s historic strongholds. In the south of England, they’ve been reduced, at the Euro level atleast, to a fringe party left fighting with the Greenies. In Cornwall for example, Labour is in sixth – behind the Greenies and Mebyon Kernow (Cornish autonomists, who polled an excellent 7%)! Their only “wins” are in urban areas in the populated areas of central and northern England (Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, County Durham). At this point, Labour seems to be a purely urban/industrial party. The Conservatives, however, are quite far from a real landslide in the popular vote, with less than 30%. They break 40% in only a few places and 50% only in Gibraltar. However, in a general election, one would expect a lot of the UKIP vote to go to the Conservatives (and Labour to a lesser extent and to a much, much lesser extent, the LibDems). Not too bad a night for the Greenies, with a nice vote increase and first place in the wealthy liberal cities of Brighton & Hove, Oxford and Norwich. However, they must be pretty angry at missing out on seats in Scotland, North West, East, South West and a second seat in the South East. They’re perfectly right that a national constituency, used in most countries, would produce real proportional results and not fake proportional. On a very sad note for sanity and non-fascists, the British National (or Nazi) Party got not one MEP, but two MEPs. Including an outright racist and former Nazi (real one, I’m not using it as an insult), Andrew Brons, in Yorkshire and the Humber. Nick Griffin was elected in the North West (a massive campaign to prevent his election, led notably by the Greenies, failed). Griffin is not any better than Brons (the same can be said for any BNPer, really).
Terrible results for Labour in it’s Celtic heartlands of Scotland and Wales. In Scotland, the SNP seems to have replaced Labour, for the time being atleast, as Scotland’s natural governing party. The SNP has won pleasing results in urban Labour areas (the Glasgow-Edinburgh belt). Labour’s defeat in Wales by the Conservatives is even more spectacular, Wales having voted for Labour since 1918. Even in Labour’s Welsh strongholds north of Cardiff, they’re not even breaking 35%. In Rhondda, where they polled 68% in the 2005 general election, they’re polling 34.7% today. However, the results in Wales are only encouraging to the Tories, who are on track to stack up a number of gains in the next general election. Plaid is obviously on track to re-gain Ceredigion, but they’ve fallen flat on their noses due to their coalition with Labour in Cardiff.
The result maps for Scotland are by local government area and in Wales, they’re by 2005 Westminster constituency.
The Northern Irish results are not really that groundbreaking and the claims of a massive historical defeat for unionists is laughable. While Sinn Féin is certainly far ahead, they’re polling slightly below their 2004 level and the other nationalist party, the SDLP has only marginally improved. The only reason the DUP has taken such a hit is because Jim Allister’s Traditional Unionists have done well (13.5% on FPVs). The Ulster Unionists-Conservatives have marginally improved on the UUP’s 2004 result. Overall, the seat distribution remains unchanged and the votes stand at nats 41.9% (42.2% in 2004) vs. unionists at 48.6% (48.5% in 2004). Alliance candidates or an Indie supported by the Alliance in 2004 took 5.5% in 2009 and 6.6% in 2004. The Alliance, close to the LibDems, claim to be independent of the nat/unionist divide and non-sectarian. IIRC, their preferences generally split more favourably for unionists (though the split is pretty even).