The mayor of Brighton and Hove has been elected as a Green MEP (Member of the European Parliament) as her party picked up more votes in the city than any other.
Alexandra Phillips – better known locally as Alex Phillips – said: “It’s the honour of a lifetime to be elected as an MEP for South East England. Thanks everyone who voted for us.”
Councillor Phillips now faces some challenging questions about how she will carry out her various duties and divide her time between Brighton and Hove, Brussels and Strasbourg.
But despite the Green triumph in Brighton and Hove, the constituency – South East England – returned four Brexit Party MEPs, including party leader Nigel Farage and another Alexandra Phillips.
The other two new Brexit Party MEPs are Robert Rowland and Belinda De Camborne Lucy.
The Liberal Democrats picked up three of the ten seats, with sitting MEP Catherine Bearder among them. She will be joined in the European Parliament by Anthony Hook and Judith Bunting.
Two other sitting MEPs were re-elected, with Daniel Hannan now the only Conservative in the South East England constituency and John Howarth remaining the only Labour MEP.
The turnout across Brighton and Hove was 91,734 – or 46.83 per cent of the electorate of 195,874 voters.
Eight political parties fielded the maximum ten candidates while a ninth party put up two candidates. Three people stood as independents.
Despite there being ten candidates, voters were able to cast just one vote – for a party or an Independent.
The Greens won 32,594 votes in Brighton and Hove – or just over 35 per cent – to top the local poll.
The Lib Dems were second with 20,337 votes, while the Brexit Party came third with 15,914.
Labour finished fourth with 11,875 votes, the Conservatives had 4,739 and Change UK – The Independent Group garnered 4,478.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) won 944 votes, the UK European Union Party (UKEUP) won 219 and the Socialist Party of Great Britain trailed in with 180.
Finally, of the three Independents, Jason McMahon won 68 votes, David Round won 34 and Michael Turberville picked up 29.
In the South East England constituency, which includes Brighton and Hove, the Brexit Party topped the poll with 915,686 votes, or almost 38 per cent.
The Lib Dems came second with 653,743 votes, while the Greens finished third with 343,249.
The Conservatives were fourth with 260,277 votes, Labour came fifth with 184,678 and Change UK – The Independent Group were sixth with 105,832.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) finished seventh with 56,487 votes and the UK European Party (UKEUP) were eighth with 7,645.
Independent candidate Jason McMahon was next with 3,650 votes, followed by the Socialist Party of Great Britain with 3,505.
Two more Independents followed, with David Round winning 2,606 votes and Michael Turberville winning 1,587.
We’ve done it. I’m so honoured to be the @TheGreenParty MEP for South East England, and with our best ever result.
Thanks everyone who voted for us. For Britain in the EU. For a Green New Deal. For Free Movement and against austerity.
This is just the beginning. #Greenwave
— Alexandra Phillips (@alexforeurope) May 26, 2019
There were 13,648 rejected ballot papers.
After the declaration of the result Alex Phillips said on Twitter: “We’ve done it. I’m so honoured to be the Green Party MEP for South East England, and with our best ever result.
“Thanks everyone who voted for us. For Britain in the EU. For a Green New Deal. For free movement and against austerity. This is just the beginning.
“It’s the honour of a lifetime to be elected as an MEP for South East England. I want to make something very clear to those living in this part of the UK.
“Many of you weren’t born in our country. You have made a home here more recently. I stand with you. Many of you didn’t have a vote in this election. Some of you were denied one even though you had a legal right to one. I stand with you. I am your MEP.
“And I have a message for those MEPs elected across the country this evening who aim to use their position in Brussels to spread fear and hate – the demagogues dressing up as democrats. I will stand against you.
“I will not hesitate to make the case for an open society – and for a country where people feel at home whether they’ve been here five weeks or 50 years.
“So wherever you’ve come from, I am here to work for you.”
Never before in British politics has a party just 6 weeks old won a national election.
If Britain does not leave the EU on October 31st, these results will be repeated at a general election.
History has been made. This is just the beginning.pic.twitter.com/J7xqwdwZin
— Nigel Farage (@Nigel_Farage) May 26, 2019
Mr Farage said on Twitter: “Never before in British politics has a party just six weeks old won a national election.
“If Britain does not leave the EU on October 31st, these results will be repeated at a general election.
“History has been made. This is just the beginning.”
The Lib Dem agent in Brighton and Hove, Paul Chandler, said that his party had secured its best ever European election result.
It was on course to have 16 MEPs nationally and looked to have the highest vote share after the Brexit Party.
He said that the Lib Dems and Greens both beat the Brexit Party in Brighton and Hove, with Labour finishing fourth.
He added: “Many thanks to all in the city who voted Lib Dem. We realise that for some people this is the first time they have voted Lib Dem. Please, don’t make it the last!
“In the South East Region we have returned three MEPs on 26 per cent of the vote, finishing in second place. We secured 8%p per cent in 2014 and our previous best result was 15.3 per cent.
“Having run an unambiguous campaign to stop Brexit, the party has made huge gains across the country which follow the party’s best ever gains in the English local election results at the start of May.”