UKIP tops Euro poll in West Midlands

UKIP has three MEPs in the West Midlands after winning 428,010 votes

The UK Independence Party has topped the poll in the West Midlands European Parliament elections with 428,010 votes.

UKIP will have three MEPs, up one on 2009, Labour two, and the Conservatives two.

Labour got the second highest number of votes with 363,033.

The West Midlands' only Lib Dem MEP, Phil Bennion, lost his seat, along with two MEPs who left UKIP after the last election to set up their own parties.

UKIP's MEPs are Jill Seymour, Jim Carver and Bill Etheridge.

Newly-elected Mr Carver claimed a "wind of change" was being felt throughout Europe,

Analysis

UKIP won three seats, coming top in 21 of the region's 30 local authorities. But despite more than four million people being eligible to vote in the West Midlands, the turnout was around just 33 percent.

He said: "Not since the end of the 1800s when Keir Hardie's Labour movement started have the British people been so ready for a completely different political message."

The new Labour MEPs are Neena Gill and Sion Simon.

Ms Gill said: "Of course we would have liked to have been first, of course we would have liked three MEPs, but the electorate have spoken."

The Conservative MEPs are Philip Bradbourn and Anthea McIntyre.

Mrs McIntyre said she was "pleased with the way the Conservative vote stood up", despite losing one of their MEPs.

'Cuckoo in the nest'

Mike Nattrass and Nikki Sinclaire both left UKIP before the election after disagreements with the party leadership.

After losing his seat, Mr Nattrass said he was concerned about the direction UKIP was taking and he accused its leader Nigel Farage of "thinking on the hoof".

He said: "Most of the architects of UKIP have been thrown out by the cuckoo in the nest."

Ms Sinclaire claimed she could still be an MEP if she had stayed with the party and said: "It would have been the easiest think in the world to stay with UKIP."

But she added: "I needed to be true to myself and the people who elected me."

Mr Bennion has not yet commented on his defeat.

Seats in the European Parliament are allocated according to the D'Hondt system, a type of proportional representation.

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