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Nigel Farage declares UKIP has 'momentum' for more victories in the region
Updated 4:23pm Monday 26th May 2014 in News
IT was a night of high drama at Southampton's Guildhall as Britain's political landscape was shaken to its core.
With the Euro elections results becoming clear last night and the early hours of this morning, UKIP leader Nigel Farage declared a “people’s army had spoken”.
His eurosceptic party was nationally voted ahead of established parties, sparking a political “earthquake”.
Regionally, UKIP gained four seats in the South East, with ten UKIP MEPs elected in total.
Dozens of politicians had packed the Guildhall last night, nervously awaiting the outcome of the European elections.
But it was clear that the night had become a UKIP party, with Farage here in the city to host it.
Official events began in Southampton yesterday afternoon at 4pm, with the counting and then the verification of the results.
There were busy scenes around 9pm as a recount was ordered, when some of the numbers failed to add up.
But as the tension rose, all eyes were on the front door of the Civic Centre, where a large pack of photographers gathered to capture Mr Farage making his grand entrance.
He told the Daily Echo he believed the results were close in the region, but nationally he already knew his party had had a fantastic night and gained momentum for more victories.
He said: “This whole part of Hampshire is quite an exciting part of the world for us.
“If you looked at the three party leaders this morning they were like goldfish tipped out of their bowls.
"The effect of these elections will be very profound and I am sure it will be felt in the General Election next year.”
In Southampton UKIP polled more voters than Labour or the Tories.
The party got 16,252 in comparison to Labour’s 14,580 and the Tories’ 11,959.
And in Fareham, the Tories topped the poll with 12,415, but UKIP were not far behind with 11,811.
In Winchester the Conservatives got 14,672 in comparison to UKIPs 9,062.
On the Isle of Wight, UKIP were top with 14,533, with the Tories in second place with 9,335.
The rise of UKIP has been one of the biggest stories in the run-up to the election, and the Eurosceptic party was tipped to better the two MEPs it had elected in the last elections in 2009.
Last night, with the Lib Dems tipped for heavy losses, if not a complete wipeout nationally, their top regional candidate, Catherine Bearder, refused to be drawn on predictions of any poor results.
But another party source admitted to the Daily Echo they had suffered a “catastrophic” result both in local and European elections.
Meanwhile Labour candidate Anneliese Dodds, said she was “confident” her party would do better this time than in 2009.
Marta Andreasen, Conservative candidate who was elected as an MEP in 2009, refused to be drawn on issues other than saying the campaign has “gone pretty well”.
The Green Party, which also had one MEP elected in 2009, was also looking to improve their standing, with party lead candidate Keith Taylor telling the Daily Echo he was optimistic of being re-elected and the party doubling its seats.
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