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EURO ELECTION RESULTS: All the drama LIVE from Southampton
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That's all from us - there will be lots of coverage in Bank Holiday Monday's Daily Echo. Thanks for following!
Catherine Bearder, now the only Liberal Democrat MEP in the country, said: "The EU will still function and we need MEPs who are there standing up for this country in debates and votes and that is what I will be doing."
Keith Taylor, re-elected as Green MEP, said his party represented "the politics of Hope rather than the politics of fear.
"A vote for the Greens is a strong voice for us to change the business as usual politics that goes on in Brussels and Westminster."
New Labour MEP Anneliese Dodds paid tribute to Del Singh, who was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year.
She wen on to say of her victory: "It's only Labour who can help people out of the cost of living crisis they are facing.
"We can have a better future in Europe, a better future for Britain and a better futures for the South East."
Re-elected Conservative MEP Nirj Deva said: " we have to protect what we have and today the British people have sent us a message and for my party we have to listen.
"The message is that Europe isn't working. Either we need reform or we have to leave and the only party that can deliver it is the Conservative party."
Speaking after the results were declared, Mr Farage said: "The peoples' army of UKIP have spoken tonight and delivered just about the most extraordinary result in British politics for 100 years."
Janice Atkinson, one of the party's three new MEPs in the South East, said: "Well that was an earthquake, I don't know what it was on the Richter scale but we certainly felt it here."
"We will vote against everything in the EU, because anything they propose is wrong, wrong, wrong."
His face says it all....Nigel Farage looks like a happy man!
Lib Dem's Catherine Bearder gets a seat - the first to be won by her party across the UK.
Another goes to the Green Party's Keith Taylor and and Labour's Anneliese Dodds.
Tories take three of the ten seats: Daniel Hannan, Nirj Deva and Richard Ashworth.
"I promise you this, you haven't heard the last of us" Farage tells the audience at Southampton.
He says "the penny has dropped" with voters.
The predictions were right - UKIP have four seats out of the ten up for grabs.
Nigel Farage says "the people's army has spoken" and it is surprising it hasnt happened before.
UKIP's Nigel Farage re-elected with the first seat.
Tory Daniel Hannan takes the second
UKIPs janice Atkinson takes the third
That's Mr Farage talking to our political reporter James Franklin.
The declaration is imminent now but unconfirmed reports suggest that UKIP have taken four seats here in Southampton.
if that is the case it will be Nigel Farage, Janice Atkinson, Diane James and Ray Finch who take the seats.
Our reporters are getting ready. James Franklin is poised and says: "The atmosphere is now electric as there are signs an announcement will be imminent. Candidates have gathered with fellow party members ready to share the moment together."
a slight correction....The Green Party got one seat in the South West, not the two we previously reported amid all their excitement!
11:49pm Sun 25 May 14
Farage has announced he intends to fight a parliamentary seat in 2015 "close to the sea".
Tensions are high in Southampton now - everyone thought it might have been a little quicker than this, but it all adds to the drama!
Reporter James Franklin says we are just one result away now....we already know that UKIP has topped polls in Eastleigh and Southampton. In Winchester the poll position goes to the Tories.
Its believed that we are not far now from the big announcement, when the Returning Officer will take to the stage and declare how the south East has voted.
The bar definitely seems busy - but mainly because there is a TV screen where people can see the live results coming in for their parties across the country.
Members of the Green Party screamed with excitement when they heard they won two seats in the south west. The excitement continues as they hope to continue their success in the South East.
Denis Fernando of campaign group Stand Up To UKIP was outside Southampton Guildhall.
He said his group have handed out tens of thousands of leaflets throughout the Southampton area during the last month to provide an argument against UKIP's views.
He said: "UKIP have racism at the centre of this election by saying that millions of immigrants are coming to take British jobs. This is the exact same old racism that was experienced by the Jewish Community in the 19th century, the Irish community in the 18th century and the African and Asian communities after the war.
"The things that will be said by the mainstream parties is that they have to listen to those sentiments but actually what they and the media have to do is challenge the myths that UKIP have put forward."
Here's some of the UKIP party who have pulled up some chairs at the side of the Guildhall
A few pictures from our photographer Chris Moorhouse - including a look at the media pack!
Meanwhile in Eastleigh, they got 13,077 in comparison to the Lib Dems' 7,432, conservatives' 9,051 and labour's 3,654.
In Fareham meanwhile, the Tories topped the poll with 12415, but UKIP aren't far behind with 11,811
UKIP have polled more voters than Labour or the Tories in Southampton. The party got 16,252 in comparison to Labour's 14,580 and the Tories 11,959.
Mr Farage tells the Echo "I don't know what the results are. It's tight."
Could the Tories and UKIP be neck and neck and was that what prompted that recount earlier this evening we wonder?
That's Labour's top candidate, Anneliese Dodds, who has just told the Echo: "I think at this stage I'm confident that we will do better than in 2009."
Farage has described tonight's results as "the earthquake we have been looking for" and he is expecting a south coast victory by taking four seats.
The media scrum when Farage arrived inside the Guildhall a short time ago!
11:14pm Sun 25 May 14
Farage to stand in Eastleigh 2015! Bring it on!
Asked about how he feels his party has done, Nigel Farage said: "We've done pretty well I think but we'll find out in a moment."
11:06pm Sun 25 May 14
If UKIP win, we might aswell roll over and die.
Nigel Farage said he's quietly confident about tonight's results before heading straight to the bar!
He commented that three and a half year's ago he said UKIP would win the European Elections and tonight he hopes that will happen.
Farage has announced he intends to fight a parliamentary seat in 2015 "close to the sea".
Where could he be talking about we wonder?
Nigel Farage walks in to Southampton's civic centre to the glare of flashing cameras and TV lights
Reports coming nationally saying that Nigel Farage has claimed victory tonight as UKIP appeared on track to top the European Parliament polls, declaring the result was an ''earthquake'' in British politics.
He said: ''Ukip is going to win this election and yes that will be an earthquake because never before in the history of British politics has a party that will be seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election.''
On a national news front, BNP leader Nick Griffin has been defeated in the North West tonight. Protesters were at the count when he arrived.
James Franklin has just been talking to Catherine Bearder who is refusing to speculate on the fact that the Lib Dems could be facing a wipe out across the UK.
She said: " We had some good results and some unfortunate results in the local elections, but how that translates into the Euros is anyone's guess."
That's Del, after he was announced as a Labour MEP candidate.
Inside the Guildhall right now, Returning Officer Mark Heath is getting ready for tonight's proceedings while the stage is being prepared for the announcements due shortly.
Nigel Farage has definitely arrived in Southampton but has gone straight to the BBC offices in Havelock Road.
His campaign manager however is on the steps of the Civic Centre, along with a huge number of photographers and TV crews and all of the UKIP candidates.
Of course, one man who should have been there in Southampton tonight is Del Singh.
Del, 39, was a Labour MEP candidate who lived in St Mary's but was tragically killed in a bomb blast in Afghanistan back in January.
Del had worked in international aid for more than a decade, managing EU and UN projects as well as for the Department for Inter-national Development in the Middle East.
He also was a well-known figure in Southampton and was working at the time as an international development consultant for Adam Smith International – a leading international advisory firm.
No doubt there will be many people pausing to remember him tonight.
This was Catherine Bearder in Romsey some time back.
In the top spot for the Lib Dems, should they get a seat tonight, is Catherine Bearder.
The former councillor was first elected as an MEP in 2009 after twice standing for the part in parliamentary elections in Oxfordshire.
A prominent Europhile, some of her priorities as an MEP have included improving environmental policy, fighting ivory trading and highlighting human trafficking.
She says she is a “staunch supporter” of the EU, but is “unafraid to challenge the realities of the EU when they don't meet that ideal”.
Daniel Hannan is the lead Tory candidate.
A writer and journalist, Mr Hannan was first elected as an MEP in 1999 after stints as a speech writer for party leaders Michael Howard and William Hague.
Mr Hannan is a fierce eurosceptic and protested alongside other MEPs when the Lisbon Treaty, which streamlined decision making in the EU and created the posts of President and foreign minister.
Born in Peru, he is fluent in French and Spanish, and shot to international prominence in 2009 when he made a speech attacking then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the European Parliament.
Still no sign of Nigel Farage - he's leaving it late, but then he does like to make a dramatic entrance like he did in Eastleigh recently
The UK's place in the EU and the impact of immigration have remained squarely at the centre of the debate in the run-up to the elections - how will it reflect in the South East tonight?
There are reports nationally that unofficial exit polls are reporting a surge in support for Britain's UKIP party.
Exit polls showed the far right and Eurosceptics making sweeping gains in European Parliament elections, signalling a major political shift toward parties that want to slash the European Union's powers or abolish it altogether.
Polls in recent days had predicted Eurosceptics could snag as many as a third of the seats in the EU's 751-seat legislature in the vote ending tonight.
One of the most significant winners appeared to be France's far-right National Front. Two polling companies said the party, led by Marine Le Pen, was outright winner in France with one-quarter of the popular vote.
Voters in 21 of the European Union's 28 nations voted today. The other seven countries had already voted.
The South East alone has 118 candidates standing, in 15 parties.
They range from the mainstream (the Conservatives, Labour, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Greens) to small groups such as the Harmony Party, which has two candidates, and the Roman Party, which has one.
Candidates have wildly differing opinions on the value of the Parliament.
UKIP's Ray Finch, standing in the South East, has told the Daily Echo that MEPs can “do nothing” within the parliament.
His party say their value as MEPs is to report back to their constituents on the “excesses” of the EU.
But other parties, such as Labour and the Liberal Democrats, say MEPs have an important role to play.
Labour's top candidate for the region, Anneliese Dodds, said that her party, which is looking for the EU to support growth and jobs in the UK and Hampshire, is well-placed to be able to influence change as they are currently part of one of the largest groups of MEPs in the Parliament, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
UKIP, meanwhile, are in one of the smallest groups, the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group (EFD).
That's a fair few media trucks outside the Guildhall tonight - lots of TV crews and newspaper journalists, including our very own Mr Franklin and Rebecca Pearson, anticipating the results and talking to candidates inside.
Local Lib Dem party member James Read said the party will be lucky to get one seat in the South east after a "catastrophic" result in the local elections.
Marta Andreasen, Conservative candidate and elected as an MEP in 2009, said: "I think our campaign has gone pretty well and the Conservatives have made the point at we are the only party of referendum."
When asked if she was worried about UKIP's recent surge, she said her former party were ."far from being an important element in the political game".
UKIP candidate Ray Finch tells the Daily Echo he is "optimistic" about the party's chances, saying he believes they have done well in Buckinghamshire, Kent and the New Forest, while the party's votes has doubled in Southampton since the 2009 election.
Green Party candidate Keith Taylor told the Echo: "We've fought a positive campaign making the point that we want to build a Europe for the common good"
He said he was optimistic he would be re-elected and the party would double its seats nationally, from two to four.
MEPs are elected for five years. But what do they actually do?
They can't put forward legislation - that's the job of the European Commission - but they do vote on most new laws that are proposed.
They could include anything from ending roaming mobile phone charges to capping bankers' bonuses, as well as the $1.3trillion EU budget which is spent on agricultural subsidies, regional aid to the poorest countries, research funding, business innovation and crime and border control.
One of the first jobs of MEPs elected this week will be to choose the next president of the Commission.
Our political reporter James Franklin says things seem to be running fairly smoothly at Southampton tonight - although earlier there was a bit of tension as dozens of workers were hurriedly counting the votes after a recount was ordered.
This region is one of 12 in the UK which will be revealing their results tonight for 73 MEPs.
Early reports suggest that overall the turnout for voting was up this year - 36 per cent of people went to vote.
Diane was pipped to the post for Eastleigh by Lib Dem Mike Thornton, she's been a councillor since 2006 and is currently leader of the opposition at Waverley Borough council in Surrey.
UKIP hopeful Diane James - who came second in last year's Easteligh by-election to replace Chris Huhne - has just turned up and posed for a quick picture.
Our photographer Chris Moorhouse is there - and he's just popped outside because we understand Mr Farage is about to arrive.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage is one of those waiting to find out if he has been voted in - and there is a potential for some high drama tonight as he and all the other candidates arrive to hear the results.
Ten MEP's will be elected in the South East tonight - that's the biggest number of representatives for any UK region and more than six European countries.
That's the scene from inside Southampton's Guildhall just a short time ago - the media have started to descend and have been asked to position themselves in the balcony for now.
From Hampshire to Kent and Brighton to Bucks, the votes of millions of people have been counted and Southampton is the venue for the declaration.
Good evening from Southampton where the eyes of the UK are on the city tonight as the results of the South East's European elections are about to be announced.
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