Britain’s UKIP party surges in Euro election
LONDON (AP) — Early results from Britain’s European Parliament elections show that the country’s Euoskeptic party is surging ahead of the country’s more established parties, indicating it is on track to make its biggest-ever win.
The first official results announced late Sunday show that votes for the U.K. Independence Party, or UKIP, are at about 30 percent, some 12 percent higher compared to the last round of European elections in 2009.
That puts it ahead of Britain’s ruling Conservatives, which topped the polls in 2009, and the opposition Labour Party.
UKIP, which holds no seats in the British Parliament, has seen an unprecedented surge in its popularity and profile in the past months as Britons grow disaffected with the main political parties over issues including immigration and Britain’s relationship with the EU.
The party advocates pulling Britain out of the 28-nation bloc and limiting the right of EU citizens to enter Britain.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared that a win for his party will deliver an “earthquake” to British politics.
The Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the coalition government, suffered the biggest defeat, trailing behind the Green Party and losing at least 5 of its 11 seats. Party leaders have acknowledged the Liberal Democrats could well lose all its seats.
A total of 73 Members of the European Parliament will be elected from nine regions in England as well as Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.