Entrenched politicians have received a nasty wake-up call in the European elections. For the first time, the fledgling UKIP party in England bested both Labor and the Conservatives, sending a stark message that it was no longer business as usual in Europe.
The Telegraph reports that UKIP is the first party to lead a national election besides the Conservatives or Labour since 1906.
Labour are the worst Euro opposition in history
It was a historic night for Labour, but for all the wrong reasons.
Ukip’s win means this is the first time the main opposition party has lost the European Elections since 1984 when Neil Kinnock led Labour.
In fact, on vote share, Labour’s was the worst ever performance for the main opposition party in the history of the UK’s European elections.
The Tories lost seven MEPS and at least 4 percentage points in their share of the vote.
They also failed to come first in any region, unlike Labour, which topped the polls in the traditional heartlands of Wales and the north.
Politics is entering a new age
Gleeful Ukip deputy leader Paul Nuttall declared on Monday night that the “age of four-party politics has arrived”, and he may be right.
Mr Farage said his party was no longer a splinter group but the “third force” in national politics ahead of the 2015 general election.
Whether it’s a four or three horse race, Ukip is the first party apart from Labour and the Tories to top a national poll since 1906.
The Telegraph reports further that UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage is planning on turning these EU elections into electoral success at home.
Mr Farage has said he wants to use the results as a springboard to mount a serious challenge in next year’s general election. He has said he will run in a Kent constituency, with Thanet South thought to be his most likely choice.
“We will go on next year to the general election with a targeted stategy and I promise you this – you haven’t heard the last of us,” Mr Farage said.
Ukip has said it will target 20 to 30 constituencies next year and Patrick O’Flynn, one of the party’s new MEPs, suggested it could win a handful of seats: “Four, five, six, seven, 10, who knows?”
Mr Farage said that the weakness of the main parties meant he could end up holding the balance of power in a hung Parliament next year.
“It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that we could get enough MPs to hold the balance of power. All I can say is we go on surprising people,” he said.
Last night was the first time the main Opposition party has failed to win a European election since 1984 and a serious setback to Ed Miliband.
Mr Farage said that the result would bring fundamental change to British politics. He told The Daily Telegraph: “The political establishment will be terrified by this. They will all have to do a very large amount of soul-searching and realise that the usual platitude ‘We’re listening’ isn’t enough.”