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BROWN CRUSHED AS VOTERS DUMP LABOUR

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown will today face renewed pressure to quit after Labour suffered a drubbing in the European elections.<br /><br />Labour was humiliated in the polls, with support around 16 per cent of the national vote, putting it on a par with the eurosceptic UK Independence Party (Ukip).<br /><br />The Conservative party swept to victory, even claiming a majority in the traditional Labour stronghold of Wales.<br /><br />A substantial protest vote also saw the extremist British National Party secure its first two seats in the European parliament.<br /><br />Labour came a miserable fifth place in the Conservative-won south east and south-west, with even less votes than the Lib Dems and Greens. Amber Rudd, Conservative candidate for Hastings and Rye for the next general election, told City A.M.: &ldquo;Hastings is traditionally Labour orientated but we were a long way ahead tonight and Labour could only manage third place behind Ukip.&rdquo;<br /><br />&ldquo;What was noticeable was the large number of spoiled papers, with messages like: &lsquo;Give us a general election now.&rsquo;&rdquo;<br /><br />In London, Conservatives won with 27 per cent of the vote, with Labour reaching 21 per cent to claim second place.<br /><br />Brown is set to face a make-or-break showdown with MPs in the House of Commons at 6pm tonight. He is likely to shore up support by shelving plans to privatise Royal Mail.<br /><br />Yesterday Brown&rsquo;s former ally Lord Falconer called on him to stand down, but the PM vowed he would not &ldquo;walk away&rdquo;.<br /><br />He said: &ldquo;What would the public think of us if ever we walked away from them at a time of need? We are sticking with them.&rdquo;<br /><br />Voting numbers across Europe dropped to an estimated 43 per cent, the lowest level since European elections began. Support for centre left and governments crashed across the EU as support for centre right parties picked up the majority.