UKIP comes out on top in South West vote
10:03am Monday 26th May 2014 in By Anna Mauremootoo, Senior reporter for Marlborough and Pewsey
UKIP won two of the six South West seats in the European Elections, with Wiltshire being one of the few districts in the area where the party did not come out on top.
The anti-EU party received 40,951 Wiltshire votes, coming second to the Conservatives who gained 46,306.
These results were then combined with the rest from the South West region, which includes Gibraltar, to decide the six MEPs who will represent the area in the European Parliament.
Across the South West, UKIP came out on top gaining, 484,184 votes, with the Conservatives in second with 433,151.
Labour polled 206,124 votes, the Green Party 166,447 and the Liberal Democrats 160,376.
Representing the South West will be William Dartmouth and Julia Reid for UKIP, Ashley Peter Fox and Julie McCulloch Girling for the Conservatives, Clare Moody for Labour and Molly Scott Cato for the Green party.
The result was a boost for Labour, who gained one MEP from the Conservatives, but a further blow for the Lib Dems, who lost their one MEP to the Green Party.
Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell was third on the list of Conservative candidates for the area so missed out on a seat.
Turnout in the county was 36.9 per cent, down 3.1 per cent from the last European Election, and the results were announced at Christie Miller Sports Centre last night.
Lead returning officer at the Melksham count Carlton Brand said: "I think the biggest surprise is UKIP coming second [in Wiltshire] because nationally they were expecting to win and in Wiltshire they haven't but if you look at the results they're not a million miles away from the Conservatives.
"I was expecting a lower turnout so I am pleased. For the last European election there was a 40 per cent turnout but that was combined with unitary elections which always pushes the figures up.
"If you compare it with general elections there is usually a 60 to 65 per cent turnout so it’s not fantastic from that point.”
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