Ukip aims for further wins as the big three struggle

■ Farage says Ukip could take top spot in June by-election

■ Vince Cable defends Clegg over calls for him to be replaced

■ Ed Miliband admits Labour has further to go in winning support

UKIP has momentum heading into the Newark by-election next month, Nigel Farage claimed yesterday, as he eyes a breakthrough in Westminster ahead of next year’s general election.

The party says it will target several constituencies in 2015, aiming to pick up more than a dozen seats in the House of Commons.

Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg came under pressure, with two MPs suggesting he should resign after the party lost 10 of its 11 seats in the European parliament.

“It didn’t work, but it was right that we stood up for the values we believe in,” said Clegg, referring to the pro-EU party’s strategy of painting the vote as a fight between itself and Ukip.

Prime Minister David Cameron, whose party lost seven MEPs, said: “I think the results show a very clear message, which is people are deeply disillusioned with the European Union.” The Conservative vote fell by 3.8 per cent from 2009, when the party topped the polls.

Labour’s Ed Miliband conceded that the party has “further to go” but said his party would not change its stance on promising a referendum on the EU only if major powers are shifted to Brussels.

Labour outperformed in London, taking half of London’s seats. Lucy Anderson, Seb Dance, Mary Honeyball and Claude Moraes were elected for the party.

Two of the other four seats went to Charles Tannock and Syed Kamall of the Conservative party, while Gerard Batten and Jean Lambert won for Ukip and the Greens respectively.

The Scottish National Party returned two MEPs on 29 per cent of the vote in Scotland, almost exactly what they achieved five years ago. In Wales, Plaid Cymru took a single seat, with its vote share down 3.25 percentage points to 15.26 per cent.

The Green Party picked up two new seats with 7.9 per cent of the national vote.

Related articles