Monday, June 08, 2009

European elections 2009

This is our running post, on which we'll follow the UK results as they come in. Updates added at the bottom.

In the 2004 elections the Tories pulled 26.7 percent of the vote and Labour got 22.6. UKIP grabbed 16.1 percent, beating the Lib-Dems into third place, trailing with 14.9 percent. The Greens got 6.3 and the BNP 4.9 percent.

Then, the candidates were fighting for 78 seats, the electorate producing a turnout of 38.2 percent. Under the Nice rules, only 72 seats are being fought.

20.30: It's going to be an interesting night. In the North East, with only three seats up for grabs, Labour seems set to take one. But the shock is that - at this time - the Tories and UKIP are "neck and neck", with the Lib-Dems coming fourth. Last time round, it was the three main parties that took the seats.

20.33: East Midlands … Keith Vaz believes the Labour vote is holding up. This is the region where, in 2005, Kilroy was standing, bringing in two seats. UKIP is on the back foot here.

20.41: First official estimate of the EU-wide turnout - 43.01 percent of eligible voters voted, compared with 45.47 percent last time.

20.49: In Ireland, Brian Cowen's "embattled Government" is under massive strain after its worst ever election meltdown and opposition claims it no longer has any credibility. The Dail will resume on Tuesday with a resurgent Fine Gael, now the largest party in the state for the first time, preparing to table a vote of no confidence.

20.50: A reminder - Northern Ireland takes three seats. The count there does not start until 9am tomorrow. Thus, we only get 69 results tonight. Official results start coming in from 9pm this evening.

20.53: Cornwall: Labour in sixth place?

20.59: Eastern region – UKIP looks as if they could have two, possibly three (outside chance). BNP vote collapsed.

21.00: Denmark - UEN and Greens each gain a seat. Sarkozy gets 11 more seats in France. Not an anti-government vote there, but likely to be an anomaly. Greens also up. Anti-capitalists also up.

21.04: North West - Lib-Dims claiming BNP will not get a seat.

21.10: Labour meltdown in Wales and Scotland predicted.

21.12: Swedish exit polls suggest the new populist Pirate Party has polled 7.4 percent of the vote. The opposition Social Democrats are getting 25 percent, up slightly from 2004. The biggest losers seem to be the the Left Party. Exit polls give it 5.1 per cent.

21.17: Romania's ruling coalition won the most votes. Each are expected to take one third of the 33 MEP seats on offer. The centre-left Social-Democrats have won 30.8 percent of the vote. The centrist Democrat-Liberals were just 0.3 percent behind. Each party is expected to win about 11 seats.

21.23: Eastern region: UKIP looking almost certainly three seats. UKFirst lead the rest of the minority groups, beating BNP.

21.36: In Lebanon, on the other hand, the turn-out was 52 per cent; somewhat higher than across the EU. Just thought I'd mention it.

21:40: Orkney led the pack, beating all the other local authority areas to announce its outcome. Lib-Dims secured 31.9 percent, SNP second on 20.2 percent, the Conservatives on 15.2 percent, Greens on 9.2 percent, UKIP on 8.5 percent, and the Labour Party trailing in sixth place on 7.0 percent. Turnout was 25.9 per cent.

21.43: North East: Labour 147,338, Cons 116,911, Lib-dims 103,444, UKIP 90,700, BNP 52,700, Greens 34,081, English Democrats 13,007, Socialist Labour Party 10,238, No2EU 8,066, Christian Party 7,263, Libertas 3,010, Jury Team 2,904. Labour gets one seat, second goes to Tories and the third to the Lib Dims. No change ... UKIP misses out with 15.4 percent of the vote, up 3.2. Labour down nine percent, Tories up one. At a rough count, the "tiddlers" (apart from BNP, Greens and UKIP) took 43,000 votes. If half had gone to UKIP, it would have got the seat.

21.48: Farage very defensive on BBC.

21.55: Tories might top the poll in Wales. UKIP might just get the fourth (of four) seats.

21.59: German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives suffered around a six-percentage-point fall in their share of the vote but had a clear lead over other parties. The vote is seen a litmus test for Merkel ahead of the general election in September. FDP set to take 12 seats.

22.09: Less than 35 percent turnout in Germany.

22.14: Highest turnout recorded in Belgium at 91 percent.

22.17: The Fragrant One (Margot Wallstrom) calls the low turnout "a bad result." It shows the need to work to "change the perception" that the European Union is detached from its citizens. Not that the EU is "detached" - this is just a "perception". The voters got it wrong again.

22.32: Projections show Germany's Social Democrats heading for their worst showing in a nationwide election since the Second World War. But, with a 35 percent turnout (against 37.5 percent in 2004) it is difficult to judge. The Incidentally, the largest federal Land, North Rhine-Westphalia, only polled 18 percent.

22.33: Bruno Waterfield reports that the EU parliament has passed 404 laws since the last elections in 2004. Another 233 are in the pipeline, meaning that MEPs are currently "churning out" two pieces of EU law a week.

22.36: Yorkshire - Con Home suggests 2 Cons and one each for Lab, Lib-Dims, UKIP and BNP.

22.40: Count almost finished. Looks as if the Yorks result stands ... BNP's first seat, outperforming the North West.

22.44: Turnout in the North West was 31.9 percent. Manchester and Liverpool well down at 24 and 27 percent respectively. Results expected at around 11.30pm.

22.47: East Midlands expected in half-hour. UKIP vote well down.

22.50: Spain: "Right wing" People's party wins its first national victory for nine years. Socialist prime minister Zapatero sees a loss of 3.75 percentage points just 15 months after winning a general election.

22.51: In Cornwall, South West Region, the Cornish Nationalist Party seems to have beaten Labour, pushing it into sixth place.

22.52: Three updates have gone AWOL while everything the boss puts up stays up. I suspect a plot. If this goes on there will be a rebellion in Shepherds Bush.

23.00: One last attempt to report on a few items from other countries. If this does not work, the rebellion will take off. It will be painful for all concerned.

In Denmark Prime Minister Lars L√łkke Rasmussen's Liberals are expected to keep their three seats while the Social Democrats, though in the lead, may well lose one to the Danish People's Party, usually described as anti-immigrant. It is, also, a centre-right conservative party that opposes further erosion of Danish sovereignty and Denmark's entry into the single currency. The People's Movement against the EU, which campaigns for Danish withdrawal from the bloc, is expected to hold on to its one seat. But the Eurosceptic June movement will not gain any MEPs. The turn-out was actually higher than in 2004 at 51 per cent, up from 47.9 per cent.

In Hungary the opposition FIDESZ party is set to take 16 seats out of the 22 allotted to the country. The Social Democrats are likely to have 4, down from 9 and the right-wing nationalist party, the Jobbik, looks like taking 2.

In Finland the Eurosceptic 'True Finns' party and the Finnish Christian Democrats are each expected to win two seats. The centre-right National Coalition Party, the liberal Centre Party and the Social Democratic Party are all projected to lose a seat each, taking them down to three, three and two MEPs respectively.

The Greens and the Swedish People's Party, who are also in the government, are expected to maintain a seat each.

23.12: Eastern Region result - Conservative 500,331 (31.2 - up 0.4 percent), UKIP, 313,921 (19.6 - no change), Lib Dims 221,235, Labour 167,833, Greens 141,016, BNP 97,013, UKFirst 38,185, English Democrats 32,211, Christian Party, 24,646, No2EU 13,923, SDP 13,599, Animals count 13,201, Libertas 9,940, Independent 9,916, Jury Team 6,354, Rejected 13,164. MEPs ... three Con, two UKIP, one LD, one Labour. Labour loses six percent.

23.28: Yorkshire: First BNP victory - Two Con, one Lab, one UKIP, one Lib-Dem, one BNP. Andy Burnham says "a sad moment". Share: Conservatives on 25 percent (no change) Labour down 8 percent.

Detailed results: Cons 299,802 (24.5 percent, down 0.2), Lab 230,009 (18.8 percent, down 7.5), UKIP 213,750 (17.4 percent, up 2.9), Lib-Dims 161,552 (13.2 percent, down 2.4), BNP 120,456 (8.5 percent, up 1.8) Greens 104,456 (8.5 percent, up 2.8), English Democrats 31,287, SLP 19,380, Christian Party 16,742, No2EU 15,614, Jury Team 7,181, Libertas 6,268. Turnout 32.3 percent - 1,226,180 voted out of an electorate of 3,792,415.

24:44: Wales: One Conservative, One Labour, One Plaid and one UKIP.

00.01: A quick break from the UK results. Why, incidentally, is it taking so long to count them? Counting started at 4pm and so far we have had three results. What is keeping the others? Can find nothing about London, incidentally. Surely, those drongos aren't leaving the counting till tomorrow?

Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic the centre-right ODS has done reasonably well. It has gained 28.9 percent of the vote and retained nine seats. The Social Democrats gained 24.6 per cent and will have 7 seats. The Communist Party, unreformed since 1989, saw its vote drop from 20.3 to 15.5 percent and therefore lost two seats. The Christian Democrats gained a second seat, despite seeing their share of the vote drop from 9.6 to 8.2 percent.

00.09: Welsh results: Conservatives 145,193 (21.2 percent, up 1.8), Labour 138,852 (20.3 percent, down 12.2), Plaid 126, 702 (18.5 - up 1.1), UKIP 87,585 (12.8 - up 2.3), Lib-Dims 73,082 (10.7 - up 2.0) Greens 38,160 (5.6 - up 5.6) BNP 37,114 (5.6 - up 2.5) Christian Party 13,037, SLP 12,402, No2EU 8,600, Jury Team 3,793.

00.16: West Midlands - could be two UKIP.

00.18: Nigel Farage says: "So far there are tremors but before the end of the night we could have created a political earthquake."

0021: Vote share (BBC projection): Cons 27 percent, UKIP 17 percent, Labour (third place) 16 percent, Lib Dims 14 percent, Green 9 percent, BNP 6 percent. "The bottom end of Labour's expectations - it would be difficult for a major national party to do any worse."

00.22: London result delayed by "computer failure". (Typical. HS)

00.23: Turn-out in Slovakia was 19.6 percent, up from 2004 when it was 16.7 percent. Centre-left are in the lead. European Voice calls Slovakia the most apathetic country in the EU. Maybe they are just more honest about their politicians.

00.29: Worst Labour result in Wales since 1918.

00.34: Richard Corbett is the casualty in Yorkshire. He is deputy leader of Labour MEPs - and a rabid europhile.

00.36: BBC projects thirteen seats for UKIP.

00.42: London: Conservatives 479,037, Lab 372,590, Lib-Dims 240,156, Greens 190,589, UKIP 188,440, BNP 86,420, Christian Party 51,336, Ind - Jananayagam 50,014, English Democrats 24,477, JT 7,284, N2E 17,758, Pl 8,444, SLP 15,3006, SPGB 4,050, Yes 2 E 3,384, Ind 1,972, Ind, 4,918, Ind, 3,248, Ind 1,603, Rejected 11,374

Three Conservatives, two Labour, one Lib-Dim, one Green, one UKIP. One less seat ... Labour loses one, otherwise no change. UKIP vote down 1.6 percent.

00.51: BBC predicts UKIP and Labour will gain same number of seats.

00.53: East Midlands. Two Con, one Lab, one UKIP, one Lib-Dim. Kilroy effect strikes ... UKIP down 10 percent, loses one seat. Lib-Dims gain one.

1.02: Pirate Party in Sweden will take only one seat with 7.1 percent of the vote. Shame. The four government coalition parties (moderately centre right) have won 42.5 percent of the vote. The Social Democrats and their allies, the Left Party and the Greens won 41.1 percent. Voter turn-out 43.8 percent, which is actually up on 2004.

1.07: According to the BBC UKIP is now in third position with 1,096,380, which is 15.5 per cent and 6 seats. Labour is second with 1,263,567, 17.8 per cent and 7 seats. Conservatives lead with 1,911,549, 12.0 per cent (1.6 per cent up) and 12 seats.

01.21: South West Region: BNP 60,889, Christian Party 21,329, Conservatives 468,742, English Democrats 25,313, Fair Pay, 7,151, Jury Team 5,758, Lib-Dims 266,253, Cormwall 14,922, No2EU 9,741, Pension 37,785, Libertas 7,292, SLP 10,033, Greens 144,178, Labour 118,716, UKIP 341,845, YD 789, Ind 8,971

Three Conservatives, two UKIP, one Lib-Dim. Cons gain one – no Labour MEP, in fifth place.

01.26: South East Region: (partial results) BNP 101,769, Christian Party 35,712, Conservatives 812,288, English Democrats 52,526, Fair Pay, 7,151, Jury Team 14,1725,758, Lib-Dims 330,440, No2EU 21,455, Pension 16,768, Libertas 7,292, Greens 144,178, Labour 192,592, UKIP 440,002.

Four Cons, two UKIP, two Lib-Dim, one Green, one Labour. No change in seats. Hannan gets back in. Labour in fifth place. Marta Andreasen is in. Could be fun. She knows where the bodies are buried.

01.29: "Nothing is solid anymore," says The Guardian. Where do they get them from?

01.32: Eight declared ... two to go tonight. NI and Scotland tomorrow.

01.43: Polly Toynbee calls for Brown to stand down.

Labour down seven percent overall, on results so far declared. Philip Webster, The Times's political editor is reporting that Gordon Brown's allies and at least some of those who want him out appeared to agree yesterday that he should be given a breathing space after the shock of the European election results.

01.55: UKIP is on course to finishing second after the Conservatives and there are rumours that Nick Griffin has won a seat.

01.56: West Midland: Tories two, UKIP two (as predicted), Labour one, Lib-Dims one. BNP and Greens didn't make it. Only one more to go. Hurrah.

02.01: North West - unofficial declaration. Nick Griffin gets in. Three Tory, two Labour, one UKIP, one Lib-Dim and one BNP. Labour loses one. That's it folks. More later today.

02.11: Heh! North West declares officially. Conservatives: 423,174, 25.6 percent (+1.5), 3 seats - no change; Labour: 336,831, 20.4 percent (-6.9), 2 seats - lose 1; UKIP: 261,740, 15.8 percent (+1.7), 1 seat - no change; Lib-Dims: 235,639, 14.3 percent (-1.6), 1 seat - no change; BNP: 132,094, 8.0 percent (+1.6), 1 seat. Nick Griffin is in. More details in the morning. This time truly so.