THE Hartlepool electorate voted overwhelmingly for UKIP in the European Parliamentary elections.
This contributed to UK Independence Party (UKIP) candidate Jonathan Arnott becoming a North East Euro-MP alongside Labour’s Jude Kirton-Darling and Paul Brannen.
Labour have gained a European seat from the Conservatives.
UKIP won 7,432 votes from town voters, compared to its nearest competitor the Labour Party, with 5,919.
The Conservatives were third, with 2,991 votes from the town, where turnout out was 27.3 per cent.
The other parties were the Green Party, with 782 votes, An Independence from Europe with 592 votes, Liberal Democrats with 511, English Democrats with 438 and the British National Party with 376.
Durham County Council’s voters largely backed Labour, with 43,472 votes, while UKIP won 31,045 in the constituency and the Tories won 17,101. Turnout in County Durham was 27.7 per cent.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright tweeted after Sunday night’s count: “Good result for Labour in North East Euro elections. Congrats to @Jude_KD and @PaulBrannenNE on becoming MEPs. We gained a seat from Tories.”
Nigel Farage’s party won 23 seats nationally, including Mr Arnott’s.
Labour won the other two in the region as North East MEP Tory Martin Callanan lost his seat and the Lib Dems failed to hang on in a diabolical night for Nick Clegg’s party.
The Lib Dems won just one seat nationally. Labour and the Tories have 18, the Greens three and Plaid Cymru one.
Prior to the election, Labour, the Conservatives and the Lib Dems all had one seat each in the North East.
Mr Callanan, who was also chairman of the European Conservatives and Reformists group in the European Parliament, was the only MEP standing for re-election in the region.
Labour’s Stephen Hughes and the Lib Dems’ Fiona Hall had both decided to stand down.
Newly-elected Labour MEP Jude Kirton-Darling said: “It is a fantastic night for Labour.
“We have knocked the leader of the Tories out of the European Parliament.”
Her new colleague Paul Brannen claimed it was a “major victory for Labour” as they had not just seen off Mr Callanan but “defeated the Liberal Democrats resoundingly”.
The UKIP winning candidate Jonathan Arnott promised to create “shock waves” when he takes his seat in Parliament.
He said: “Nigel Farage promised a political earthquake. We have caused that tonight.
“It is time now to go to Brussels and to work together with any moderate, like-minded politicians and let us take the North East’s message to Brussels and let us create shockwaves there too.”