European election: UKIP is on the march in Wales

So nothing really changed in the end. Wales will be represented by one member each from Labour, UKIP, the Conservatives and Plaid.

And yet behind the main headline that Labour topped the poll after losing to the Conservatives five years ago, an awful lot has changed.

UKIP's 28.1% share of the vote puts the notion to bed that somehow the party is a reflection of a trend in England.

The sheer breadth of its vote shows that it has support in many diverse parts of Wales.

It also shows that the party is capable of taking votes from across the spectrum, and not just the Conservatives.

And most strikingly, UKIP is capable of taking a significant number of votes from people in the Labour-supporting heartland.

Nigel Farage says the single most remarkable result for UKIP was coming so close to Labour in Wales.

UKIP's MEP for Wales Nathan Gill always insisted that immigration was a huge issue on the doorstep in Wales, like it is in other parts of the UK.

And his claims about the lack of impact of EU funding in Wales must also have gone down well with some sections of the electorate.

In the end, UKIP took chunks out of the Labour vote and in doing so saved Plaid by preventing Labour pulling ahead and winning a second seat.

There's a delicious irony here considering that in Plaid's spring conference, Leanne Wood said: "A vote for UKIP is a vote against the Welsh national interest."

Plaid says the strategy of targeting UKIP was vindicated because it led to some strong performances, particularly in Gwynedd, which was enough to return Jill Evans to Brussels.

The big question now is what the rise of UKIP means for the general election next year and the assembly elections in 2016.

Despite the clear strength of support for UKIP in parts of north Wales in particular, it's difficult to think of parliamentary seats where it could win.

But the party could still have a bearing in deciding the outcome of seats when many more people will turn out to vote next year.

In Pembrokeshire, UKIP came a close second to the Conservatives. If it is successful in attracting Labour supporters in the county, will it harm Labour's chances in the two seats it is targeting there?

Will UKIP's influence in the Vale of Glamorgan have more of an impact on the Conservatives than Labour?

And will the traditional Labour and Conservative voters who have had a fling with UKIP in the Euros return to the marital home for the general election? These are all questions no-one knows the answer to yet but will be pored over in the months ahead.