2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom

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2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg
  2004 4 June 2009 2014  

All 72 of the United Kingdom's seats
in the European Parliament
Turnout34.7% [1] Decrease2.svg3.8%
 First partySecond partyThird party
  Timothy-Kirkhope-United-Kingdom-MIP-Europaparlamentby-Leila-Paul-4.jpg Nigel Farage MEP 1, Strasbourg - Diliff (cropped).jpg Glenis Willmott.jpg
Leader Timothy Kirkhope Nigel Farage Glenis Willmott
Party Conservative UKIP Labour
Alliance ECR EFD S&D
Leader since18 November 2008 12 September 2006 18 January 2009
Leader's seat Yorkshire and the Humber South East England East Midlands
Last election27 seats, 25.9%12 seats, 15.6%19 seats, 21.9%
Seats before251218
Seats won261313
Seat changeIncrease2.svg1*Increase2.svg1*Decrease2.svg5*
Popular vote4,281,2862,498,2262,381,760
Percentage27.4%16.0%15.2%
SwingIncrease2.svg1.0%Increase2.svg0.4%Decrease2.svg6.6%

 Fourth partyFifth partySixth party
  GrahamWatsonMEPHead and Shoulders.jpg Official portrait of Caroline Lucas MP crop 2.jpg Nick griffin bnp from flickr user britishnationalism (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Leader Graham Watson Caroline Lucas Nick Griffin
Party Liberal Democrats Green BNP
Alliance ALDE Green NI
Leader sinceJanuary 2002 5 September 2008 27 September 1999
Leader's seat South West England South East England North West England
Last election12 seats, 14.4%2 seats, 2.8%0 seats, 0.0%
Seats before1020
Seats won1122
Seat changeIncrease2.svg1*Steady2.svgIncrease2.svg2*
Popular vote2,080,6131,223,303943,598
Percentage13.3%7.8%6.0%
SwingDecrease2.svg1.1%Increase2.svg2.2%Increase2.svg1.3%

Map of the European Parliament election (2009) (United Kingdom).svg
Map of the results indicating the seats won in each region by party *Seat change has been adjusted to allow for direct comparison with the results from the 2004 election. [2]
(including 1 UCUNF)
Notional results

2009 UK European Parliament election.svg

Leader of largest party before election

David Cameron
Conservative

Subsequent leader of largest party

David Cameron
Conservative

The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for which was held on Thursday 4 June 2009. The election was held concurrently with the 2009 local elections in England. In total, 72 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation.

Contents

Notable outcomes were that the Labour Party – which came third – suffered a significant drop in support, and that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) finished second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of it in terms of votes. This was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been outpolled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The British National Party (BNP) also won two seats, its first ever in a nationwide election. [3] It also marked the first time the Scottish National Party (SNP) won the largest share of the European election vote in Scotland, [4] and the first time Labour had failed to come first in a Welsh election since 1918. [5] It was the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP)'s worst ever European election result, and also the first time an Irish Republican party, Sinn Féin, topped the polls in Northern Ireland. [6]

Background

Electoral system

The United Kingdom elected 72 Members of the European Parliament using proportional representation. It was divided into twelve multi-member constituencies, or regions. The eleven of these regions which form Great Britain used a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method. Northern Ireland used the single transferable vote (STV).

The experimental use of all-postal ballots in four regions in 2004 was not repeated, resulting in a sharp reduction in turnout in those regions. [7]

Constituencies and representation

As had been the case since 1999, the electoral constituencies were based on the government's nine English regions, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, creating a total of 12 constituencies. The Treaty of Nice fixed the number of MEPs for the whole European Parliament at 736; as a consequence of the accession of Romania and Bulgaria in 2007, the number of seats allocated to the United Kingdom was reduced from 78 to 72. If the Treaty of Lisbon had entered into force by June 2009, this figure would have been 73. On 31 July 2007, in line with the required reduction in representation from the United Kingdom, the number of members elected from each region was modified by the Boundary Commission and Electoral Commission, based on the size of the electorate in each region. The recommended changes were approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2008. [8]

Changes in regional seat allocations [9]

ConstituencyRepresentation
in 2004
Representation
in 2009
Net Gain/Loss
East Midlands 65Decrease2.svg 1
East of England 77Steady2.svg
London 98Decrease2.svg 1
North East England 33Steady2.svg
North West England 98Decrease2.svg 1
Northern Ireland 33Steady2.svg
Scotland 76Decrease2.svg 1
South East England 1010Steady2.svg
South West England 176Decrease2.svg 1
Wales 44Steady2.svg
West Midlands 76Decrease2.svg 1
Yorkshire and the Humber 66Steady2.svg
Overall7872Decrease2.svg 6

1Includes Gibraltar, the only British overseas territory which was then part of the EU.

MEPs retiring

Conservative

Labour

UKIP

Liberal Democrat

Independents

Opinion polls

In the run up to the election, several polling organisations carried out public opinion polling in regards to voting intentions in Great Britain. Results of such polls are displayed below.

ComRes, ICM, Populus and YouGov are members of the British Polling Council, and abide by its disclosure rules. BPIX is not a member of the BPC, and does not publish detailed methodology and findings.

[13]

Date(s)
conducted
Polling organisation/client Con Lab UKIP Lib Dem Green BNP OthersLead
4 June 2009EU Election, 2009 (GB Result)27.7%15.7%16.5%13.7%8.6%6.2%11.6%11.2%
03/06/09 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 26%16%18%15%10%5%10%8%
31/05/09 ComRes/Green Party 24%22%17%14%15%2%6%2%
29/05/09 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 27%17%16%15%9%7%9%10%
28/05/09 ICM/Sunday Telegraph 29%17%10%20%11%5%8%9%
28/05/09 Populus/Times 30%16%19%12%10%5%8%11%
21/05/09 ICM/Guardian 30%24%10%18%9%1%8%6%
16/05/09 YouGov/Daily Telegraph 28%22%15%17%7%5%5%6%
14/05/09 ComRes/UKIP [ permanent dead link ]28%23%15%14%11%4%5%5%
14/05/09 YouGov/Sun 29%20%15%19%6%3%6%9%
10/05/09 Populus/Times 34%25%6%20%5%2%8%9%
08/05/09 YouGov/Sunday Times 36%25%7%20%4%4%7%11%
04/05/09 ICM/TPA [ permanent dead link ]32%28%9%22%1%1%7%4%
08/01/09 YouGov/TPA 35%29%7%15%5%4%5%6%
10 June 2004 EU Election, 2004 (GB results only) 26.7%22.6%16.1%14.9%6.3%4.9%8.5%4.1%

Results

United Kingdom

PartyVotesSeats
Number%+/-Seats+/-%
Conservative 4,281,28627.4Increase2.svg1.026Increase2.svg136.1
UKIP 2,498,22616.0Increase2.svg0.413Increase2.svg118.1
Labour 2,381,76015.2Decrease2.svg6.613Decrease2.svg518.1
Liberal Democrats 2,080,61313.3Decrease2.svg1.111Increase2.svg115.3
Green 1,223,3037.8Increase2.svg2.22Steady2.svg2.8
BNP 943,5986.0Increase2.svg1.32Increase2.svg 22.8
SNP 321,0072.1Increase2.svg0.72Steady2.svg2.8
English Democrat 279,8011.8Increase2.svg1.00Steady2.svg
Christian/CPA 1249,4931.6Increase2.svg1.30Steady2.svg
Socialist Labour 173,1151.1New0Steady2.svg
NO2EU 153,2361.0New0Steady2.svg
Plaid Cymru 126,7020.8Decrease2.svg0.11Steady2.svg1.4
Sinn Féin 126,1840.8Steady2.svg1Steady2.svg1.4
DUP 88,3460.6Decrease2.svg0.51Steady2.svg1.4
Green 80,4420.5Steady2.svg0Steady2.svg
Jury Team 78,5690.5New0Steady2.svg
SDLP 78,4890.5Steady2.svg0Steady2.svg
UK First 74,0070.5New0Steady2.svg
Libertas 73,5440.5New0Steady2.svg
TUV 66,1970.4New0Steady2.svg
Jan Jananayagam (Ind.)50,0140.3New0Steady2.svg
Pensioners 37,7850.2Steady2.svg0Steady2.svg
Alliance 26,6990.2New0Steady2.svg
Green (NI) 15,7640.1Increase2.svg0.10Steady2.svg
Mebyon Kernow 14,9220.1New0Steady2.svg
Animals Count 13,2010.1New0Steady2.svg
Scottish Socialist 10,4040.1Decrease2.svg0.30Steady2.svg
Duncan Robertson (Ind.)10,1890.1New0Steady2.svg
Peter Rigby (Ind.)9,9160.1New0Steady2.svg
Peace 9,5340.1Steady2.svg0Steady2.svg
Katie Hopkins (Ind.)8,9710.1New0Steady2.svg
Fair Play Fair Trade Party7,1510.0New0Steady2.svg
Roman Party 5,4500.0New0Steady2.svg
Steven Cheung (Ind.)4,9180.0New0Steady2.svg
Socialist (GB) 4,0500.0New0Steady2.svg
Francis Apaloo (Ind.)3,6210.0New0Steady2.svg
Yes 2 Europe3,3840.0New0Steady2.svg
Sohale Rahman (Ind.)3,2480.0New0Steady2.svg
Gene Alcantara (Ind.)1,9720.0New0Steady2.svg
Haroon Saad (Ind.)1,6030.0New0Steady2.svg
Wai D7890.0New0Steady2.svg
Total15,621,50372Decrease2.svg6100

Includes Ulster Conservatives and Unionists (82,892 votes, 1 MEP).

As the number of seats was reduced, these are notional changes estimated by the BBC.

1Joint ticket, ran in England as: The Christian Party - Christian Peoples Alliance.

Vote share
Conservative
27.4%
UK Independence
16.0%
Labour
15.2%
Liberal Democrat
13.3%
Green
7.8%
British National
6.0%
Scottish National
2.1%
English Democrats
1.8%
Christian Peoples
1.6%
Socialist Labour
1.1%
No2EU
1.0%
Plaid Cymru
0.8%
Sinn Féin
0.8%
Democratic Unionist
0.6%
Others
4.5%
Seats
Conservative
36.1%
UK Independence
18.1%
Labour
18.1%
Liberal Democrat
15.3%
Green
2.8%
British National
2.8%
Scottish National
2.8%
Plaid Cymru
1.4%
Sinn Féin
1.4%
Democratic Unionist
1.4%

Great Britain

Map showing most popular party by counting area (in Great Britain) European Parliament election, 2009 (United Kingdom).svg
Map showing most popular party by counting area (in Great Britain)

Turnout in Great Britain was 34.3%, with 15,137,202 votes out of a total electorate of 44,171,778. [7] Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after similar elections were held in the other 26 member states of the European Union. Scotland declared its result on Monday 8 June, as counting in the Western Isles was delayed due to observance of the Sabbath.

Great Britain kept to the Europe-wide trend towards the right. [3] The Labour Party, which was in its twelfth year of government of the United Kingdom, polled third and suffered a significant drop in support; UKIP finished second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of it in terms of votes. This was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been outpolled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons.

The Conservatives won in every region in Great Britain except the North East, where Labour won, and Scotland, where the SNP won. [7] Labour suffered most notably in Cornwall, where it came sixth behind Mebyon Kernow, and in the wider South West region and South East, where it polled fifth behind the Green Party. [14] The BNP won two seats, its first ever in a national election. The share of the vote achieved by the English Democrats doubled. [15]

The turnout in Scotland was the lowest in the United Kingdom at 28.8%, with 1,104,512 votes out of a total electorate of 3,872,975. [7] In Scotland it was the first time the SNP won the largest share of the European election vote. [16] The SNP share of the vote rose by 9.4% points compared to 2004; this was the biggest positive swing for any party in any region in Great Britain. [7]

In Wales it was the first time since 1918 that Labour had failed to come first in a Welsh election, dropping 12.2%. In Wales the Conservative Party topped the poll, with the nationalist Plaid Cymru coming a close third. UKIP took the fourth Welsh seat, the first time Wales had elected a UKIP MEP. [17] Both the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party polled their lowest regional shares in Wales, though Wales was the only region where the Liberal Democrat share of the vote rose compared with 2004. [7]

Summary of the election results for Great Britain [18]

PartyVotes won % of vote % Plus/
Minus
SeatsPlus/Minus
vs actual
'04 result
Plus/Minus
vs notional
'04 result†
Seats %
Conservative 4,198,39427.7%Increase2.svg 1.025Decrease2.svg 2Increase2.svg 137.7
UKIP 2,498,22616.5%Increase2.svg 0.413Increase2.svg 1Increase2.svg 118.8
Labour 2,381,76015.7%Decrease2.svg 6.913Decrease2.svg 6Decrease2.svg 518.8
Liberal Democrats 2,080,61313.7%Decrease2.svg 1.211Decrease2.svg 1Increase2.svg 115.9
Green 1,223,3038.1%Increase2.svg 2.32Steady2.svgSteady2.svg2.9
BNP 943,5986.2%Increase2.svg 1.32Increase2.svg 2Increase2.svg 22.9
SNP 321,0072.1%Increase2.svg 0.72Steady2.svgSteady2.svg2.9
English Democrat 279,8011.8%Increase2.svg 1.10Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Christian/Christian Peoples Alliance 1249,4931.6%Increase2.svg 1.30Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Socialist Labour 173,1151.1%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
NO2EU 153,2361.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Plaid Cymru 126,7020.8%Decrease2.svg 0.11Steady2.svgSteady2.svg1.4
Green 80,4420.5%Steady2.svg0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Jury Team 78,5690.5%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
UK First 74,0070.5%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Libertas 73,5440.5%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Jan Jananayagam (Independent)50,0140.3%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Pensioners 37,7850.2%Steady2.svg0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Mebyon Kernow 14,9220.1%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Animals Count 13,2010.1%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Scottish Socialist 10,4040.1%Decrease2.svg 0.30Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Duncan Robertson (Independent)10,1890.1%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Peter Rigby (Independent)9,9160.1%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Peace 9,5340.1%Steady2.svg0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Katie Hopkins (Independent)8,9710.1%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Fair Play Fair Trade Party7,1510.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Roman Party 5,4500.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Steven Cheung (Independent)4,9180.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Socialist (GB) 4,0500.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Francis Apaloo (Independent)3,6210.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Yes 2 Europe3,3840.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Sohale Rahman (Independent)3,2480.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Gene Alcantara (Independent)1,9720.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Haroon Saad (Independent)1,6030.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Wai D7890.0%New0Steady2.svgSteady2.svg0
Total15,136,93269Decrease2.svg6Steady2.svg100

†Seat change has been adjusted to allow for direct comparison with the results from the 2004 election

1Joint ticket, ran in England as: The Christian Party - Christian Peoples Alliance.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory (BOT) and therefore is under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom but does not form part of it. [19] Gibraltar was, however, part of the EU, the only BOT to be so, and participated as part of the South West England constituency.

Turnout was 35% in Gibraltar, below the 39% for the South West England electoral region as a whole and significantly lower than the turnout in Gibraltar in 2004. [20]

The Conservatives won with 53.3% of the votes. Labour narrowly retained second place achieving 19% to the Liberal Democrats' 18.2%. [20]

PartyVotes wonVote share (%)Change (%)
Conservative || 3,721|| 53.3 || Decrease2.svg 16.2
Labour || 1,328 || 19.0 || Increase2.svg 9.6
Liberal Democrats || 1,269 || 18.2 || Increase2.svg 10.6
Green || 224 || 3.2 || Decrease2.svg 5.5
UKIP || 100 || 1.4 || Increase2.svg 0.3
BNP || 94 || 1.4 || Increase2.svg 0.5
Christian || 70 || 1.0 || New
Socialist Labour || 56 || 0.8 || New
English Democrat || 37 || 0.5 || New
Pensioners || 26 || 0.4 ||New
Independent - Katie Hopkins || 15 || 0.2 || New
NO2EU || 12 || 0.2 || New
Mebyon Kernow || 8 || 0.1 || New
Fair Pay Fair Trade80.1New
Jury Team || 6 || 0.1 ||New
Wai D Your Decision40.1New
Libertas || 3 || 0.0 || New

Northern Ireland

Map of Northern Irish results European Parliament election, 2004-2014 (Northern Ireland, UK).svg
Map of Northern Irish results

It was the DUP's worst ever European election result: the party had previously topped the poll in every European election in Northern Ireland since the first one in 1979. [6] It was also the first time an Irish Republican topped the poll, Bairbre de Brun of Sinn Féin coming first with 125,000 votes. The share of the votes for most parties in Northern Ireland remained essentially unchanged, the main exceptions were the DUP where their share of the vote fell by 13.8%, and the TUV, a party created by former DUP MEP Jim Allister whose share of the vote rose 13.7%. [7] The DUP's decreased vote share was largely blamed on the TUV splitting the vote.

Summary of the election results for Northern Ireland [21]

PartyCandidateSeatsLoss/GainFirst Preference Votes
Number % of vote
Sinn Féin Bairbre de Brún 10126,18425.8
DUP Diane Dodds 1088,34618.1
UCU-NF Jim Nicholson 1082,89217.0
SDLP Alban Maginness 0078,48916.1
TUV Jim Allister 0066,19713.5
Alliance Ian Parsley 0026,6995.5
Green (NI) Steven Agnew 0015,7643.2
Turnout [22] 488,89142.8

Incumbents defeated

Labour

Traditional Unionist Voice

Aftermath

Gordon Brown faced calls for him to resign as Prime Minister after Labour's defeat. [14]

During the 2005 Conservative Party leadership election, David Cameron argued for withdrawal of the Conservatives from EPP-ED and for the formation of a new group. After the European election it was announced that the Conservatives were leaving the EPP-ED and forming a new group, the European Conservatives and Reformists. [24] On 22 June 2009, the first official list of the new group's members was released. [25] The group held its inaugural meeting on 24 June, during which Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope was named interim leader. [26] The first election for the group leadership was also scheduled for 14 July, pitting interim leader Kirkhope against fellow Briton Geoffrey Van Orden. [27] However, both Conservative leadership candidates were forced to forfeit the leadership in order to prevent the group from collapsing, when then-Conservative MEP Edward McMillan-Scott defied his party whip and stood for one of the vice-presidency posts despite pledges the previous week that Polish MEP Michal Kaminski would be backed for it. Kaminski's bid for Vice-President of the European Parliament subsequently failed, and the Poles threatened to abandon the new caucus unless Kaminski was made the group leader in the parliament. [28]

Similarly, UKIP helped found a new European Parliament Group, Europe of Freedom and Democracy, after the other parties in UKIP's pre-election European parliamentary grouping, Independence/Democracy, had polled badly. [29]

Summary of the post-election European Parliament Groupings of each party

EP GroupMEPsUK PartyMEPs
European Conservatives and Reformists 26 Conservative 25
Conservatives and Unionists 1
Europe of Freedom and Democracy 13 UKIP 13
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats 13 Labour 13
Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe 11 Liberal Democrats 11
The Greens–European Free Alliance 5 Green Party of England and Wales 2
Scottish National Party 2
Plaid Cymru 1
European United Left-Nordic Green Left 1 Sinn Féin 1
Non-Inscrits 3 British National Party 2
Democratic Unionist 1

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Gibraltar Conservatives Political party of Gibraltar

The Conservative Party in Gibraltar is the part of the Conservative Party that operates in the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar. It is a branch of the South West Region of the Conservative Party. The party does not field candidates in the local elections in the territory, and so far has only ever stood candidates for the European Parliament constituency of South West England and Gibraltar.

2017 United Kingdom local elections

The 2017 United Kingdom local elections were held on Thursday 4 May 2017. Local elections were held across Great Britain, with elections to 35 English local authorities and all councils in Scotland and Wales.

Prior to the 2019 United Kingdom general election, various organisations carried out opinion polling to gauge voting intentions. Results of such polls are displayed in this list. Most of the pollsters listed are members of the British Polling Council (BPC) and abide by its disclosure rules. Opinion polling about attitudes to the leaders of various political parties can be found in a separate article.

Reform UK Political party in the United Kingdom

Reform UK is a right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom. It was founded as the Brexit Party in November 2018, and was renamed on 6 January 2021. The party was founded by Nigel Farage and Catherine Blaiklock with the stated purpose of advocating for Brexit. Prior to the UK's withdrawal from the European Union (EU), the party had 23 Members of the European Parliament (MEPs). Its largest electoral success was winning 29 seats and the largest share of the national vote in the 2019 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom.

2019 United Kingdom general election in Wales

The 2019 United Kingdom general election was held on 12 December 2019 to elect all 650 members of the House of Commons, including the 40 Welsh seats.

References

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  19. The 14 Territories
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