SUNDERLAND has its first UKIP politician after the anti-European party headed for a clear victory in last night’s election count.
Nigel Farage’s party won 23 seats nationally, including one of three available in the North East.
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.
The UK is still waiting for results from Scotland, as the Western Isles do not count votes on a Sunday.
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 reelection 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 – an extremely corrosive politician who has upset a lot of people.”
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”.
He said Labour will listen to those who felt unable to vote for them in this election and listen to their concerns.
“Ultimately, we will only be able to address those if we go on and win the General Election a year from now,” he said. “This result puts us on target to do that.”
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.”
The full results for the North East:
•Labour Party – 221,988 (28,899 from Sunderland)
•UKIP – 177,660 (20,593 from Sunderland)
•Conservatives – 107,733 (10,962 from Sunderland)
•Liberal Democrats – 36,093 (1,950 from Sunderland)
•Green Party – 31,605 (2,638 from Sunderland)
•An Independence from Europe – 13,934 (1,529 from Sunderland)
•BNP – 10,360 (1,139 from Sunderland)
•English Democrats – 9,279 (870 from Sunderland)
Number of MEPs won for each party in the UK (without Scotland results):
UKIP: 23 (+10)
LAB: 18 (+7)
CON: 18 (-7)
GREEN: 3 (+1)
LIB DEM: 1 (-9)
PLAID CYMRU: 1 (0)
BNP: 0 (-2)