The votes for the European Elections have been counted. In the West Midlands, the Lib Dems are back with one MEP. The Greens are growing in strength with one MEP. Three MEPs were elected to the Brexit Party displacing UKIP’s three MEPs. Labour did badly and the Conservatives much worse. Under the D’Hondt system of proportional representation, that gives one seat each to the Conservatives, Greens, Labour and Lib Dems. The Brexit Party has three seats with a bigger vote share than UKIP achieved.
In the West Midlands, the Conservatives and Labour lost 19,504 votes compared to the 2014 Euro elections. The Lib Dems and Greens gained 18,687 votes. The collapse of the Conservatives from 32% to 12% in a county that some regard as Tory stronghold is not just a reaction to the incompetent way that its politicians have managed Brexit. It shows diminishing faith in the three Tory MPs in our county.
There is no doubt that the big news of this election is the rise of the six-week-old Brexit Party. But the growth of the progressive green thinking parties, the Lib Dems and Greens cannot be ignored. They are more sustainable parties than the here today, gone tomorrow Brexiteers.
Shropshire did better than the West Midlands as a whole. The turnout in the county increased by nearly 5% to 39%, higher than across the West Midlands (31%) and above that of the UK (37%). The Lib Dem vote grew from a low of 9% in 2014 in Shropshire to 21%. The Greens raised their share of the vote from 7% to 13%. Full Shropshire results.
There is no doubt that the big news of this election is the rise of the weeks old Brexit Party. UKIP and Brexit took a 43% combined vote share in Shropshire (33% for UKIP in 2014) and 42% in the West Midlands (31% for UKIP in 2014). But the growth in vote share for the Lib Dems and Greens is a bigger threat to Tory dominance in Shropshire in the long term.
The new list of West Midlands MEPs: Brexit: Rupert Lowe; Martin Daubney; Andrew Kerr. Conservatives: Anthea McIntyre. Greens: Ellie Chowns. Labour: Neen Gill. Lib Dems: Phil Bennion.
Nationally, the results are similar, a good night for the Lib Dems and Greens, lousy for Labour and disastrous for the Tories. UKIP was wiped off the Euro map and replaced by the Brexit Party. The BBC has the full national results (there are still two regions declare as I type this). The results show yet again that we are a nation split down the middle between Remain and Brexit. It would not surprise me if the results reflect the split in the 2016 referendum. Older voters tend to plump for Brexit. Younger voters want Remain – a vote that may well have been boosted by the growing concern over climate change and biodiversity extinction.