Britain awaits a Brexit Party landslide as Europe votes in EU elections: Counting gets underway in UK as Farage boasts he’ll be ‘king maker’ in Tory leadership battle
- Turnout had increased in areas where people had voted to remain in 2016
- Nigel Farage has claimed the next Prime Minister will have to win his support
- He also said the new leader would have to accept the no-deal Brexit policy
Vote counting is underway across the UK as the nation is eagerly awaiting the European Union election results.
Projections show that turnout has increased to up 38 per cent, an increase of 2 per cent from 2014 and suggest Nigel Farage will secure a historic victory when votes are announced from 10pm this evening.
The EU elections were not meant to happen in the UK at all, but the failure of the Prime Minister, Parliament and the EU to agree a deal to take Brexit out of the EU means they were scheduled at the last minute.
The last poll before Britons voted put Farage’s Brexit Party on 37%, the Lib Dems in second on 19, Labour on 13%, the Greens on 12% and the Conservatives in fifth on 7%.
Counting begins for the East Midlands region at the European Parliamentary elections count at the Kettering Conference Centre
Election staff making piles of ballot papers as they count the votes for the European Elections
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is expected to dominate the elections taking away swathes of Tory voters. Pictured: Staff counting votes in Birmingham
Countdown: The announcement of the results is just hours away as staff begin counting at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham
However in a potentially ominous sign for a Farage landslide, Number Crunch Politics UK project the turnout up just 2% – and say it seems to have increased more in areas that voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 referendum vote.
People across Europe will continue to head to the polls today to cast their votes, with leaders from Belgium to Spain having been out this morning to make their decision.
French President Emmanuel Macron also seemed in high spirits as he greeted well wishers and supporters in Le Touquet.
He and his wife Brigitte were pictured smiling and even hugging voters as they attended their local polling station.
Ballot papers for The Brexit Party are collected as counting begins for the East Midlands region
French president Emmanuel Macron and first lady Brigitte Macron leave after casting their ballot in Le Touquet with Macron holding a baby and his wife posing for a selfie
Macron and his wife walked hand in hand after they cast their vote, with Brigitte holding a white rose in hand
Nigel Farage gave the thumbs up yesterday after casting his cote in Biggin Hall in Kent
Farage has also called himself a ‘king maker’ in the Conservative Party leadership battle.
What happens once polling stops across Europe?
How and when are the votes counted, and when will we get a glimpse of the result in the European elections?
Thursday 23 May: British and Dutch voters cast their ballots
Friday 24 May: Irish and Czech voters follow suit
Saturday 25 May: People in Slovakia, Latvia and Malta take to the polls, while the Czechs also continue voting
Sunday 26 May: The rest of the 28 European states are allowed the cast their votes
4PM: Exit polls from Germany should start to offer some clues as to who is in the lead – as it is the biggest country in Europe
6PM: Further exit polls from Spain and France will follow, providing a clearer picture
7PM: The European Parliament publish publish a first projection for all seats based on exit polls in 12 countries. After 7PM it will then include results from Poland, as and when they are available
9PM: Another projection will be published once the votes have been counted in Italy
10.15PM: Provisional results expected from the European Parliament
Monday 27 May: Parties discuss results, with the leaders of the four pro EU groups set to meet in the evening to agree a push to have one of their own appointed EU chief executive
Tuesday 28 May: Parliament’s Conference of Presidents meet in the morning
3PM: National leaders meet in Brussels to debate their next move
The Brexit Party leader claimed that leadership hopefuls would have to earn his support if they wanted to be in with a chance of winning.
Speaking to Fox News he said that the new Prime Minister would have to accept the Brexiteer’s policy of a no-deal Brexit.
He boasted that his success at the European Parliament elections would set him up as a kingmaker in the heated contest.
‘On Sunday night, we get the results of the European elections. The Conservative Party will get less than 10 percent of the vote.
‘The Brexit Party which I founded six weeks ago is expected to top the polls with 35 percent.
‘Whoever the Conservatives choose, whether it’s Boris or not, without my support they won’t win the next election.’
Estimates from Number Cruncher Politics UK revealed that national turnout was up by around 38 per cent.
Some of the strongest increases were where the Green Party did best in 2014, however it also appeared that turnout in Labour held areas had been worse.
The analysis from Number Cruncher Politics shows where people are turning up to vote and also revealed that turnout was weakest in areas where UKIP was strongest in 2014.
‘Most of UKIP’s 2014 voters will have voted for someone else this time, but this may be some less good news for the Brexit Party (though to be clear, this does NOT mean that they won’t win)’.
It also stated that the pattern wasn’t clear when it came to where the Conservative’s strengths were.
Other’s across Europe were also pictured casting their ballot today including Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, who was pictured in Luxembourg earlier today.
Exit polls from Germany should be in within the next hour, which will give a clear indication of who has a majority, with it being the biggest country in Europe.
After all the votes are counted, the talk it set to continue until Tuesday next week, when all leaders will meet in Brussels for a dinner.
They will debate their next move over the course of the dinner which is set to be attended by leaders from the 28 states.
It is likely that they will rally to appoint people who are pro-EU and are inline with their current values.
Number Crunch UK said: ‘A slight (though weak) positive correlation between Tory strength last time and turnout change – but they may, of course be voting for the Brexit Party or Lib Dems.’
Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission prepares to cast his ballot at a polling station in Capelle
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his girlfriend Susanne Thier pictured leaving a polling station
People across Europe continues to take to the polls today with the Five Star Movement’s party deputy Stefano Buffagni having caste his ballot at a polling station this morning.
This is while Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was pictured in Pozuelo de Alorcon casting his vote.
Opposition leader Ska Keller, for the Green Party in Germany was also out early this morning to cast her vote in Berlin.
While in Romanian, President Klaus Johannis was pictured in Bucharest, as was the former Prosecutor General of the Anti Corruption Department, Laira Codruta Kovesi.
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven casts his vote at a polling station during the European Parliament elections in Stockholm
Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila reacts while being surrounded by members of the media after voting at ‘Jean Monet’ polling station
Farage’s former party Ukip – which won the last European election in 2014 – will likely get hammered and could fail to return any of their MEPs.
Each counting station will be presided over by a Returning Officer who will then pass the result to the Regional Returning Officer for the announcement.
But while some smaller regions will declare the results on Sunday night and in the early hours of Monday, the larger and sparsely populated regions are likely to still be counting the following day.
In the UK, there are 12 electoral regions: Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, East Midlands, Eastern, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber.
Pedro Sanchez (pictured above) casting his vote this morning as he seeks to form a new government
Stefano Buffagni (pictured above) was seen putting his ballot paper into a box this morning in Italy
Former Italian PM and leader of the right-wing party Forza Italia Silvio Berlusconi was pictured at a polling booth in Milan
Top candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) for the European Parliament elections, German Minister of Justice, Katarina Barley after casting her vote in the European elections at a polling station in Schweich
These regions will return a total of 73 MEPs who will sit in the 751-strong European Parliament in Brussels.
The Parliament’s size is intended to be reduced to 705 in the 2019–2024 legislature after 46 of the UK’s seats are removed following Brexit, and the rest are shared out among unrepresented countries.
Throughout June the elected candidates will negotiate to form political groupings to sit with in the Parliament, before beginning the new ninth term on July 2.
The European Parliament is the legislative body of the European Union that votes on laws proposed by the un-elected Commission.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras prepares to cast his vote for the European and local elections at a polling station in Athens
Voting in Sweden was also taking place in Lund. There are currently 751 members of the EU Parliament, including 20 from Sweden
Across Europe today many are still casting their votes. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel (pictured above) was seen out at a polling station
Because the UK was originally meant to leave the bloc on March 29, Euro elections were only scheduled at the last minute when outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May failed to push her Brexit deal through the Commons.
It comes as more and more Tory MPs continue to announce their bid for the hot seat.
With Michael Gove now also having announced his candidacy for the position with a veiled attack on old rival and front runner Boris Johnson.
In what has been perceived as a stab at the former Mayor, the Environment Secretary claimed that he is more ‘capable’ and said the next leader cannot just ‘respect’ the vote but must have the ‘wherewithal to deliver it’.
People in Poland (pictured above) also cast their votes. Since Poland’s EU accession, the country’s economy accelerated
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban (pictured above) smiles before casting his vote at a polling station in Budapest
Leader of the main opposition party in Poland, the Civic Platform Grzegorz Schetyna (pictured above) casts his vote at a polling station during the European elections in Wroclaw
The Conservative Party leadership contest has redrawn old battle lines as Michael Gove announced his candidacy by making a sly stab at front runner Boris Johnson
In what has been perceived as a stab at the former London Mayor (pictured), the Environment Secretary said that the next leader cannot just ‘respect’ the Brexit vote but must have the ‘wherewithal to deliver it’