Everybody and his/her dog has been writing about this in the past couple of days, but I'm afraid that 'real life' rudely disrupted the time I could devote before now to doing my own round-up on the final result since I did my live-blogging on Sunday night.
A number of well-known websites have links to utilities which will allow you to analyse the final results in various different ways, but why go to the media when you can visit the European Union's own website and get all the relevant information there, presented in a very flexible utility.
So far as the UK is concerned, the results are here. However, to get a more detailed analysis, specially of changes since the last election in 2004 the best place is the BBC website here. There are several things to say about the overall UK result:
- the governing Labour Party was pushed into third place, behind the Conservative Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), a major 'drubbing' and humiliation, richly deserved by the tawdry excuse we have for a Government;
- the fascist British National Party (BNP) gained two seats, the first time these odious racists have gained seats at a national election. Labour and other left-of-centre people professing what they call 'progressive' political ideas categorise the BNP as 'right wing', but a cursory study of its manifesto reveals it to be 'collectivist' in nature, much more characteristic of the kind of 'socialist' politics of a 'left wing' political party, such as Labour - which is where most of the votes for the BNP have undoubtedly come from. The 'authoritarian' and 'racist' ethos of the BNP is certainly not in doubt.
For me the four UK regions of most interest, for quite different reasons, are these:
- Scotland, because that's where I live. The main development here is the fact that Labour has been pushed into second place by the Scottish National Party (SNP); no longer can Scotland be described as a Labour 'fiefdom'. Of course I am not personally enamoured of the SNP, but that's a whole different discussion.
- Wales, where the result is even more dramatic than in Scotland in some respects. It is the first time since 1918 that Labour have lost the popular vote here and the fact they have been pushed into second place by the Conservatives of all people is specially dramatic. They lost one of their two MEPs, to the so-called 'fluke' UKIP. Some 'fluke'!
- The Yorkshire and The Humber and the North West regions in each of which a BNP candidate was elected with 9.8 and 8.0 per cent respectively of the vote. In both these regions the Labour Party was forced into second place by the Conservatives with UKIP in third position.
Other amazing results in this election were noted in Cornwall where Labour was relegated to 6th place behind both the Greens and Mebyon Kernow (Cornish nationalists). The only English region where Labour topped the popular vote was in the North East region.
In summary it was a grim election result for Labour, as they managed to get only 15.7 per cent of the national vote and their tally of MEPs was reduced by 5 down to 13, although that to me was a very positive development. Much less positive of course was the 6.2 per cent achieved nationally by the BNP, giving it 2 MEPs and all the funding that goes with this. Frankly Labour has a lot to answer for with its chronic mismanagement of the economy during its 12 years in power and for its persistent refusal to engage and combat the political arguments of its left-wing cousins, the BNP; Labour's panicky 'vote for anyone but the BNP' mantra in recent months I'm afraid was far too little too late.