The 2014 European election is now over and the party machines are now wondering how they are going to convince the public their party is the best for the county in next year’s General Election. Of course this forthcoming election could also be the last UK wide election if Scotland decides to go alone. The political pundits and party strategists will now be trawling through the euro results to see how UKIP topped the polls and won this election.
For those of us who do not have access to detailed voting patterns or who would lose the will to live if presented with reams of electoral data spreadsheets, the BBC’s news graphic team has produced a set of infrogram clearly showing the voting shifts by the European electoral regions. Good work BBC.
It is clear UKIP’s win was down to increased vote share. This went up in all regions and only in Scotland and London did this stay in single figures. Labour will be pleased and relieved they came second, but not far behind were the Conservatives. For a party who is in government, they were not punished as much as I thought they would be. But they lost ground in all the regions which must be worrying with a general election in 345 or so days
I would say the Green Party held is ground overall nationally, but made a breakthrough in the South West by adding another MEP bringing their total up to three. So if I was the party leadership I would take this as a win. SNP stood ground and did not get the third MEP they targeted. Plaid retained its one MEP against a strong Labour and UKIP vote.
However, the real loser in this election was the Lib Dems. They had a shocker. losing 10 MEP’s must be hard to take. This follows on from a bad local government election where they lost 300 odd Councillors. I do not think you can write-off the Lib Dems, as it has shown in the past they can come back. However, I do think this will be their biggest test to date and definitely looking down the barrel of a shotgun with a finger firmly on the trigger.
How these result will play out in the General Election is anyone’s guess. The news is awash with the main parties talking about dealing with UKIP. However, and this is the subject of my next blog, is instead of obsessing over UKIP, those parties should be trying to figure out how they will not only engage the 4 million odd who voted for UKIP, but the issue of the 40 million people who did not vote. That reader is the real issue.