Over the spring bank holiday news of the European Elections dominated the headlines with the Brexit Party the clear winner, but the Lib Dems and the Green Party also made significant gains. Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party stormed to victory, riding a wave of anger at the failure of Prime Minister Theresa May to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union. The Brexit party launched just six weeks ago, received the highest share of the vote and overall took 32% of the vote. The pro-EU Lib Dems have also made gains, taking second place with 20%.
Voting took place against a backdrop of paralysis at Westminster over Brexit and the impact was clear as both Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives and the opposition Labour Party lost support across the country. Labour took 14% of the vote and the conservatives 9%.
The rest of Europe saw big centre-right and centre-left blocs in the European Parliament lose their combined majority amid an increase in support for liberals, Greens and nationalists. Populists gained ground in some countries but fell short of the very significant gains some had predicted. In Germany, both major centrist parties - including Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats - suffered, while in France, President Emmanuel Macron's Renaissance alliance was defeated by the far-right National Rally of Marine Le Pen.
Theresa May announced on Friday that she would resign on June 7 after a turbulent week for the Prime Minister which saw a resignation from her Government and many of her own MPs demanding she stands down.