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  1. ITV Report

EU Election results: Nigel Farage's Brexit Party 'ready for a general election' after Tory and Labour losses

  • Video report by ITV News Political Correspondent Libby Wiener

Nigel Farage has said his Brexit Party is already focusing on fighting a general election after the Conservatives and Labour saw dramatic losses in the European elections.

The Tories dropped to just 9% share of the vote in, suffering their worst ever performance at the ballot box.

Labour picked up just 14.1% of votes, voters favoured alternatives offered by Mr Farage and the pro-EU Liberal Democrats.

The Brexit Party, on the other hand, won just under 32% of the vote, giving it 29 seats in Brussels after forming only six weeks ago.

Mr Farage predicted his newly-formed party would do well at the ballot box for the nation's leadership, should politicians fail to deliver Brexit.

Even as ballot papers were still being counted, the former UKIP leader jubilantly told ITV News his party is "getting ready for a general election".

He added he'll be "pushing very hard" for it to take a seat at the table for future rounds of Brexit negotiations - but stated he wouldn't trust any of the candidates running for Conservative Party leadership.

"Which of the Tory candidates would I trust and believe? None of them."

He said: "Whatever any Conservative leader says well why would I believe them because we're heard it all before.

"Theresa May telling us 108 times we would leave on March 29 and we didn't."

He continued: "I do not believe the Conservative Party is even capable of producing a leader through this contest with that kind of clear message, I just don't think it's going to happen."

The Tories got less than 10% of the vote, a dramatic fall for the once top party. Credit: ITV News

"Disappointing night" for Conservatives, says May

The scale of the Tory disaster was underlined by its single-digit vote share - in fifth place behind the Brexit Party, Lib Dems, Labour and the Greens.

Just four Conservatives were elected. The party suffered signifcant loses to the Brexit Party, which took 29 seats - an increase from the 24 MEPs sent by Nigel Farage's UKIP to Brussels in 2014.

In her first tweet since announcing her resignation as party leader, Theresa May said the party had suffered a "disappointing night" - but stood by her stance of the UK only leaving the EU with a deal stating: "It shows the importance of finding a Brexit deal, and I sincerely hope these results focus minds in Parliament."

Meanwhile, foreign secretary and Tory leadership hopeful Jeremy Hunt said the dire results for the Conservatives meant the party faced an “existential risk” unless it delivered Brexit.

Michael Gove said the results show "it is clear" that the result of the 2016 referendum must be honoured.

He warned failure to do so before the next General Election could lead to Jeremy Corbyn in power "propped up" by the SNP.

Labour moves closer toward backing second referendum

Following his party's poor performance, with 14.1% of the vote, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement Brexit "will have to go back to the people," either through a general election or a second referendum.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said he would support "going back to the people in another referendum," if a general election is not possible.

Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott tweeted: "We have to take the time to analyse the EU vote. But, when we come in third after the Brexit party, that is a clue something is wrong with our strategy.

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"We need to listen to our members and take a clearer line on a public vote."

Two of Labour’s most senior figures – Emily Thornberry and Tom Watson – tore into the campaign fought by Jeremy Corbyn, claiming the party had lacked a clear message and should have backed another referendum.

In a sign that he could consider a shift in position, Mr Corbyn added: “Over the coming days we will have conversations across our party and movement, and reflect on these results on both sides of the Brexit divide.”

Liberal Democrats "major national force again" after poll success

Speaking opposite the Houses of Parliament on Monday afternoon, Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said his party's success at the ballot box shows it there is a clear national interest in stopping Brexit.

After a tough few years for the party, which saw it lose the majority of its MPs, Mr Cable said the result of the European elections shows the Lib Dems are once again a "major national force".

His party picked up 20.3% of the vote, finishing with 16 seats - 15 more than they ended up with in 2014.

The winners and losers around the country

SNP dominated Scotland with nearly 40% of the vote and three seats, while the Liberal Democrats, Tories and the Brexit Party finished with one each.

Labour won no seats in Scotland for the first time.

The Brexit Party also dominated Wales, with Plaid Cymru finishing second.

In Northern Ireland, the last of the 12 regions to declare results, Sinn Féin’s Martina Anderson won a seat along with Alliance Party leader Naomi Long and the DUP’s Diane Dodds.