The People’s Vote campaign have claimed victory in the European elections after voters turned out to back parties advocating a fresh referendum over those backing a no-deal Brexit.
The five firmly pro-People’s Vote parties – the Liberal Democrats, the Greens, the SNP, Change UK and Plaid Cymru – won 40% of the vote compared to 35% for The Brexit Party and UKIP.
Labour’s poor performance is almost entirely due to losing support to parties that firmly back a People’s Vote. This included huge swings against Labour in Northern cities such as Liverpool and Manchester where the vote share for pro-Brexit parties did not increase at all.
The five firmly pro-People’s Vote parties plus the Labour Party, which gave qualified support to the idea of the public having the final say – won an overall majority of the vote – 56% – against just 44% for the Brexit Party, UKIP and the Conservative Party.
The overall number of MEPs won by parties giving full or qualified support for a People’s Vote was 37, compared to 33 for The Brexit Party, UKIP and the Conservatives.
The parties giving full or qualified support for a People’s Vote gained nine seats overall, compared to an overall loss of 10 seats for The Brexit Party, UKIP and the Conservatives.
Jo Swinson, Liberal Democrat MP and leading supporter of the People’s Vote campaign, said:
“The real story from last night’s results is the huge surge in support for the Lib Dems and other strongly pro-People’s Vote parties, who look set to win a larger share of the vote than parties backing a No Deal Brexit.
“There is no majority in either the country or in Parliament for a crashing out of the EU with a No Deal Brexit. Two thirds of people who voted in this election rejected Nigel Farage’s terrifying vision for our country. There was no mandate for this form of Brexit in the 2016 referendum – when it was scarcely discussed – and it is fanciful to pretend such a mandate exists now.
“The Labour Party has rightly paid a heavy price for failing to listen to its own candidates, members and supporters who want it to unequivocally back a People’s Vote. Labour must get off the Brexit fence.
“And the Conservative Party would be wise not to draw the wrong conclusions from its humiliation last night. If a new leader tries to out-Farage the Brexit Party by imposing a no deal Brexit on the country without letting either MPs or the British people have their say, it will be a constitutional and democratic outrage which voters will not quickly forget.
“A change in Prime Minister will not change the political reality – there is no majority for any form of Brexit in either the Parliament or the country. The only way to solve the Brexit crisis is to give the public the final say in a People’s Vote on the Brexit deal.”