Page last updated at 07:27 GMT, Monday, 8 June 2009 08:27 UK

Labour loses hold in South West

Glyn Ford
Glyn Ford, left, lost the seat he has held since 1999

Labour has been wiped out in the South West in the European elections.

The party lost its only MEP in the region and came fifth overall with fewer votes than the Greens.

The Conservatives held three seats, the UK Independence Party held its two seats and the Liberal Democrats still hold one seat in the region.

Labour's misery in the region came as it suffered its worst post-war election result nationally, beaten into third place by UKIP.

In the South West, the Conservatives took 30.2% of the vote, down 1.3% since the last European elections in 2004, and will have three of the six South West seats.

UKIP came second with 22.1% of the vote, down 0.5%, and the Liberal Democrats third with 17.2%, down 1.2%.

The Greens were in fourth with 9.3%, up 2.1% and Labour in fifth with 7.7%, down 6.8%.

The total number of seats up for election in the South West was six, down from seven since the last elections, due to the enlargement of the European Union.

Giles Chichester, Julie Girling and Ashley Fox will represent the Conservatives.

Expenses blamed

Trevor Coleman and William Dartmouth will represent UKIP and Graham Watson continues for the Liberal Democrats.

Labour's Glyn Ford, who has been a Euro MP in the South West since 1999, said the expenses issue was partly to blame for him losing his seat.

"It's obviously disappointing to lose my seat, for myself, for the Labour Party and for the South West," he said.

Mr Chichester also blamed the MPs' expenses issue for a decline in the Conservatives' percentage vote.

He said: "Six weeks to two months ago, I hoped that we would be able to be looking at three or four seats in the region.

"I wanted a really stunning result for the Conservative Party.

"The issue that has overshadowed this election, of MPs' expenses, I think knocked that one on the head."

The turnout was marginally up at 39% compared with 37% at the last elections, which appears to have benefited the smaller parties such as the Pensioners' Party, which was up 2.4%, the BNP which was up 0.9% and Cornish Nationalists Mebyon Kernow which got nearly 15,000 votes.

William Dartmouth, of UKIP, said he was very satisfied with the results.

"I'm very happy. UKIP has improved its position on five years ago and that is because we were the only party putting forward a consistent and coherent message about Britain and the EU, that Britain would be better off out of the EU.

"The expenses controversy made long-term supporters of the three large parties take a look at other parties and UKIP did the best from that."

In the South West, which stretches from the Isles of Scilly to Gloucestershire and includes Gibraltar, three MEPs are from Devon, one from Bristol, one from Gloucestershire and one from Somerset.

The last MEP with Cornish connections was Robin Teverson, now Lord Teverson, who was MEP for Cornwall and west Plymouth until the last elections.



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EUROPEAN ELECTION RESULTS

MEP Seats

  Votes MEPs
Party % +/- % Total +/-
EPP 33.4 -1.4 264 -18
Socialists 23.2 -4.1 183 -26
Liberal 11.0 +1.6 84 +5
Green 7.4 +1.3 50 +9
Left 5.3 -0.6 34 -2
UEN 3.4 +1.6 28 +2
Ind/Dem 2.7 -1.8 21 -15
No Group 13.6 +3.4 72 +3.4
0 of 27 countries declared.

UK Total MEP Seats

Party Votes MEPs
% +/- % Total +/-
CON 27.7 1.0 *26 1
UKIP 16.5 0.3 13 1
LAB 15.7 -6.9 13 -5
LD 13.7 -1.2 11 1
GRN 8.6 2.4 2 0
BNP 6.2 1.3 2 2
SNP 2.1 0.7 2 0
PC 0.8 -0.1 1 0
OTH 8.5 2.4 0 0
SF 1 0
DUP 1 0
72 of 72 seats declared. Vote share figures exclude Northern Ireland as it has a separate electoral system to the rest of the UK
* Includes UCUNF MEP elected in Northern Ireland
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BBC political editor Nick Robinson Nick Robinson
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Nigel Farage UKIP: A hell of an achievement

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