‘Scotland has rejected Brexit’: Nicola Sturgeon hails best-ever EU elections result for SNP – while Labour loses both its MEP seats
- The SNP seems likely to win three out of six Scottish seats in the EU Parliament
- The Brexit Party, Tories and Lib Dems are on course to win one MEP seat each
- Labour’s vote slumped below 10 per cent and they are not set to win any seats
The SNP hailed its best ever European election results today with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon declaring it ’emphatically clear’ that Scotland has rejected Brexit.
The nationalists scooped up three of the six Scottish MEP seats as they won 37.7 per cent of the vote north of the border.
Despite being kept off the top spot, the Brexit Party came in second on 14.8 per cent and added one more MEP to their tally.
The Lib Dems and Tories saved their blushes by keeping one MEP each. But the real losers were Labour, who humiliatingly lost their two MEPs.
The SNP’s previous best Euro election result was 32.6 per cent in 1994.
Ms Sturgeon tweeted: ‘Formal declaration to come, but clear now that the SNP has won the Euro election emphatically – we are on course to take 3 out of 6 seats.
‘A historic victory. And Scotland has rejected Brexit again. ‘
This chart shows the shares of the vote in the EU elections with the Brexit Party well ahead
Nicola Sturgeon (pictured voting in the European election on Thursday) said Scotland had ‘rejected Brexit’ by backing her SNP candidates in the Euro polls
Five years ago Labour was a close second with 25.9 per cent of the votes, but that fell to 9.3 per cent last night.
Labour’s David Martin – who had been the UK’s longest serving MEP having first been elected in 1984 – conceded he had lost his seat, with the party paying the price for its failure to take a clear stand on the crucial issue of Brexit.
Mr Martin tweeted: ‘While obviously personally disappointed to lose my seat I’m devastated for the hundreds of good Labour people who put so much into the campaign. We lost not because of lack of effort but lack of clear message.’
Alyn Smith (L), SNP lead candidate for the Scottish Region in the European election, and SNP Deputy Leader Keith Brown (R) in Edinburgh City Chambers last night
Labour Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray – who has campaigned for a second European referendum – hit out on Twitter, saying: ‘The Labour leadership refused to listen to me, their members & their supporters. Maybe now they’ll listen to the voters?’
The final results were declared after the figures from the Western Isles – which does not count votes on a Sunday – are declared.
Ms Sturgeon also tweeted about the ‘outstanding results’ for her party, saying they were ‘our best ever Euro election result’.
She added: ‘Polling way ahead of any other party. Higher % in Scotland than Brexit Party’s current share in rUK. Emphatically clear that Scotland doesn’t want Brexit.’
Meanwhile Alyn Smith, who was the lead SNP candidate said it was ‘clear Scotland has endorsed Remain’.
The Brexit Party has won the most seats in the European Parliament election, while Labour was pushed into third place by the Liberal Democrats
This diagram shows the change in vote shares with Labour, the Conservatives and UKIP all losing ground while the Brexit Party came from nowhere and the Lib Dems and Greens gained
He added: ‘Our Remain vote can not be ignored any longer. Scotland’s for Europe.’
In the City of Edinburgh Council area Labour was sixth – behind the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Greens, the Tories and the Brexit party.
Lothian MSP, and former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said her party should respond to the results by ‘backing a People’s Vote unequivocally and committing wholeheartedly to remain’.
Meanwhile Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said ‘all indications’ were her party had retained a Scottish MEP on what was a ‘tough night for the party UK-wide’.
The Liberal Democrats had lost their Scottish MEP in 2014, when the party paid the price at the polls for its coalition with Conservatives at Westminster, but its increased share in this election leaves the party in Scotland on course for a return to the European Parliament.
With most results in, the Brexit Party had won the vast majority of council areas in England and Wales last night