Page last updated at 23:26 GMT, Sunday, 7 June 2009 00:26 UK

Euro count sees protests at BNP

BNP leader Nick Griffin
The BNP are hoping to make an electoral breakthrough
Protesters have briefly stopped BNP leader Nick Griffin from entering the building in Manchester where results of European elections are being announced.

Mr Griffin is standing for the European Parliament in the North West region and hopes to become the BNP's first elected representative in Brussels.

As he arrived at the count, his car was surrounded by noisy protesters and it drove off without him getting out.

Mr Griffin later entered the building through the back entrance.

The BNP leader was accompanied by a number of minders.

There is a substantial police presence outside Manchester Town Hall, where the votes for the region are being counted.

Police said one man was arrested in scuffles when Mr Griffin tried to get into the building through the front entrance and his car was surrounded by a small crowd of noisy protesters.

"Mr Griffin has been driven away to avoid the protests that they have set up at both entrances," a council spokesman said.

"Mr Griffin, as one of the MEP candidates, will have to gain access to the town hall at some point for the count," it added.

The BNP has targeted the North West during the campaign.

It won one of its three English county council seats in Burnley in Thursday's elections.

The BNP is hoping to improve on its European performance in 2004 when it won just under 5% of the vote.

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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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