Brexit Party set to win most UK seats in EU elections

Brexit Party set to win most UK seats in EU elections
© Greg Nash

Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is set to claim the most U.K. seats in the European Union’s parliament following last week’s European elections, according to early tallies, CNBC reports.

Farage, the former leader of the U.K. Independence Party and a major backer of efforts to leave the EU before and after the 2016 Brexit referendum, formed the new party in April.

Initial results show the party with 31.7 percent of the vote, compared to 18.7 percent for the Liberal Democrats, 14.1 percent for the Labour Party and 8.7 percent for the Conservative Party. The party is projected to gain 29 seats.

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Farage made frustration over the U.K.’s failure to pass a deal to exit the European Union by the initial March deadline a centerpiece of the party’s campaign. Prime Minister Theresa MayTheresa Mary MayUK's Boris Johnson closer to Prime Minister after second round of leadership votes UK's Boris Johnson closer to Prime Minister after second round of leadership votes The UK economy is sailing toward dire straits MORE announced on Friday she would resign after failing to get a Brexit deal through the U.K.’s Parliament on three occasions.

Supporters of Brexit had hoped that Great Britain would have been out of the European Union before the parliamentary elections were held, and that they would not have been necessary.

The Brexit Party's success is likely to effect the debate over who should lead the Conservative Party following May's departure, and will raise questions about whether the conservatives are poised to lose support to a party on the right in future elections in Great Britain.

Farage said if both the Labor and Conservative parties do not change their behavior, his party will win a general election in Great Britain.

“The Labour and Conservative parties could learn a big lesson from tonight, but I don’t suppose that they actually will,” Farage said as election returns came in. “I have to say this: If we don’t leave on Oct. 31, then the scores you’ve seen for the Brexit Party today will be repeated in a general election — and we are getting ready for it.”

Returns indicated voter turnout increased significantly in the EU from the 2014 elections, climbing from 43 percent to between 49 percent and 51 percent.