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Ukip earthquake rocks South East as party wins EU vote
The UK Independence Party rocked Britain's establishment last night as the anti-EU party stormed into first place in the 2014 European elections in the South East.
With voting taking place across Europe for the past four days the world's media gathered at Southampton's Civic Centre to find out if Ukip's prediction that it would cause a "political earthquake" would actually come true.
Having already claimed second place in 2009 with 18.8% of the South East vote on the back of the financial crash and expenses scandal, this was a make or break election for Nigel Farage and Ukip in the region.
Even before the official result the signs looked good for the anti-establishment party with piles of ballot papers showing Ukip was pushing the main parties close.
And the final results drew cheers from Ukip contingent, which will now send three more MEPs to Brussels with Nigel Farage - making the biggest EU parliamentary party in the South East.
Following the announcement Nigel Farage said it was the most significant election result for 100 years.
The Conservatives managed to maintain second place despite losing one of their MEPs.
For Labour, who were hoping to build on some promising results in the local elections that saw them take back Crawley Borough Council and build on their majority in Hastings, these results will likely come as a slight disappointment although they will likely be buoyed by finishing first in key areas like Brighton and Hove ahead of 2015.
The Green Party were also buoyed by their showing.
After saying they had ended their South East campaign with cautious optimism the party held on to its current EU member Keith Taylor while also posting strong results in Brighton and Hove, where they came a close second.
Who are the South Easts MEPs?
Ukip Nigel Farage Janice Atkinson Diane James Ray Finch Conservative Party Dan Hannan Nirj Deva Richard Ashworth Labour Anneliese Dodds Green Party Keith Taylor Liberal Democrats Catherine Bearder
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