Labour tops Euro poll in Wales with UKIP close behind

Derek Vaughan and Nathan Gill Successful Labour and UKIP candidates Derek Vaughan and Nathan Gill

Labour has narrowly topped the European election poll in Wales on 28.7% of the vote only just ahead of UKIP who boosted their support to 28.1%.

The Conservatives - who topped the poll in 2009 - came third with 17.8% followed by Plaid Cymru, with 15.6%.

It means no change in that the four parties each retain a seat representing Wales in the European Parliament.

Meanwhile, the Green Party came fifth with 4.6% vote share, with the Liberal Democrats sixth on a disappointing 4%.

Labour's successful candidate Derek Vaughan, an MEP since 2009, said he was delighted his party had won the most votes in Wales, but sorry it could not win a second seat.

The returning officer announced the results at Fishguard

"The turnout of 32% is not exactly brilliant," he said, "it's our job to explain the benefits that Wales gets from the EU.

"We have to re-engage with voters and explain the benefits of EU membership. To coin a phrase, we're all in this together."

UKIP's winning candidate Nathan Gill said his party had engaged with the public in Wales and had managed to get its message across.

"Britain will be better off when we leave the EU," he said.

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Results in Wales

Labour 206,332 28.15% (+7.86)

UK Independence Party 201,983 27.55% (+14.76)

Conservative 127,742 17.43% (-3.79)

Plaid Cymru 111,864 15.26% (-3.25)

Green 33,275 4.54% (-1.04)

Liberal Democrat 28,930 3.95% (-6.73)

British National Party 7,655 1.04% (-4.38)

Britain First 6,633 0.90% (0.00)

Socialist Labour Party 4,459 0.61% (-1.20)

NO2EU 2,803 0.38% (-0.87)

Socialist Party of Great Britain 1,384 0.19% (0.00)

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Re-elected Conservative Kay Swinburne said engagement with the public was an issue: "We have to raise the profile of what the EU is about and what MEPs do for the day job."

She added: "I am particularly pleased that the Conservative vote was maintained in those areas of Wales where we currently have strongly elected members."

Meanwhile, Jill Evans thanked the people of Wales "for trusting Plaid Cymru for being a strong voice in Europe for the next five years".

There had been concerns in the party that Ms Evans, first elected 15 years ago, was in danger of losing the seat this time round.

The Liberal Democrats admitted it had been a disappointing night.

Aled Roberts AM, chair of the Welsh Lib Dem European campaign, added: "However, we can hold our heads up high over the campaign we fought. While most parties remained silent on the issue of Europe, we had the strength to fight a positive campaign and to stand up for the benefits of remaining in the EU."

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