European elections: Nigel Farage’s UKIP tops poll

London : With UK Independence Party (UKIP) scoring a stunning victory in the European Parliament elections Sunday night, it was clear that party chief Nigel Farage had inflicted another body blow to the three main political parties.

UKIP beat Labour to first place, with Tories dropping to third for the first time in a national poll.

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The anti-EU party dramatically built on its success in the local elections in England last Thursday when the results of the Euro poll on the same day were announced.

A jubilant Farage hailed the outcome as “an earthquake” because “never before in the history of British politics has a party seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election”, The Independent reported Monday.

The Conservatives, Liberal Democrats, and Labour conceded that UKIP had come first, with just Northern Ireland left to declare Monday afternoon.

At 12.30 p.m. UKIP had taken its first ever Scottish seat, taking the party’s total to 24 — almost double than it won in the last Euro elections in 2009. The result from Scotland was delayed because the Western Isles local authority does not count votes on a Sunday.

The Tories, who came first last time with 25 seats, suffered the humiliation of dropping to third place for the first time ever in a national election.

Labour claimed victories in Wales, the North East and North West of England and London to take 25.4 percent of the vote, and with two seats in Scotland increased its number of MEPs by nine to 20.

Liberal Democrats, however, suffered a disastrous result, falling to an embarrassing fifth place behind the Green Party amid increasing grassroots pressure on Nick Clegg to stand down as party leader.

In September 2013, UKIP held 9 of the 73 British seats in the European Parliament, had three members in the House of Lords and held one seat in the Northern Ireland Assembly.

UKIP was founded in 1993 by Alan Sked and other members of the cross-party Anti-Federalist League, a political party set up in November 1991. The party’s primary objective was withdrawal of Britain from the European Union.