England

Labour doubles its MEPs in London

  • 26 May 2014
  • From the section England
Media captionLondon bucked the national trend with Labour winning half of the eight seats

Labour has doubled its number of MEPs in London after winning half of the region's eight seats in the European election.

It topped the poll with 806,959 votes, while the Conservatives won two seats with 495,639 votes.

UKIP and the Green Party each retained one seat with 371,133 and 196,419 votes respectively.

The Liberal Democrats, who came fifth overall, lost their MEP in London, with the Tories also down one.

'Not blaming anybody'

Before the results were out and the sitting Lib Dem MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford lost her seat, she seemed to sense the party may not do well.

She said: "It's nobody's fault, I don't think. I am certainly not blaming anybody, I am not going around asking for anybody's head.

"I am proud of the campaign we fought, I am proud of Nick Clegg taking on Nigel Farage and his divisive fear-mongering, whipping up prejudiced attitudes, I am proud that we have fought a pro-European campaign."

Later she added: "I think it's a great shame that Europe's premier city does not have an MEP now from the pro-European party the Liberal Democrats."

Former Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell said: "Deeply disappointed, for me and the party, but particularly for people like Sarah Ludford, who has been a tower of strength in the European Parliament, highly regarded, taken a particular interest in human rights, and represented the people of London in a wholly effective and well-judged way."

Labour candidates Claude Moraes, Mary Honeyball, Lucy Anderson and Seb Dance all took seats.

Mr Moraes said Labour's performance was an "extraordinary result" which "bucked" the national trend.

He said: "It's our best result in London in the European elections since the PR system began.

"Labour is generally a pro-European party but sees London's future as an internationally outward-looking city, at ease with itself and at ease with the kind of issues UKIP's scaring everyone about... but also bread and butter issues that we were not afraid to talk about on the doorstep, like the cost of living."

They will be joined by Charles Tannock and Dr Syed Kamall for the Conservatives, Gerard Batten for UKIP and Jean Lambert for the Green party.

After his win Mr Batten said: "In London my only regret is that we didn't get our second candidate elected, Paul Oakley, but we did double our share of the vote and in a number of boroughs I believe we either came second or first, in one at least. That's been a fantastic achievement."

Dr Kamall said: "Over the next few years we will continue as Conservative MEPs to stand up for London, its financial sector, its creative industries, its wonderful diversity.

"In Britain we have a long-term plan to fix the economic mess that we inherited and in Europe we will continue to build the coalitions across parties... to make sure we deliver the reform that we need."

Image caption Labour supporters in London celebrated by cheering and shouting "we did it"

Prof Tony Travers, the director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics said: "There is some evidence from opinion polls that Londoners have a different view, more optimistic and more positive about the EU than the country as a whole.

"In some polls, interestingly, London and Scotland have a similar view about Europe and it is more positive than the other parts of the UK.

"It's the proximity to Europe on one hand and the particular make up of London's population I think [which] makes it more positive about Europe and less likely to vote UKIP."

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