They might have missed out on city council seats, but two European Parliament hopefuls think Thursday’s election results have helped their cause.
Rachel Featherstone and Richard Elvin, leaders of the Green Party and UKIP in Sunderland, respectively, are due to be on ballot papers again later this month when they country contests European elections.
Both their parties saw gains in the latest round of local elections, entering Sunderland City Council for the first time.
In the case of the Greens, their victory in Washington South was achieved by a margin on just three votes.
And coupled, with another Green win in South Tyneside, Featherstone thinks the night showed a ‘real appetite for Green policies’.
She added: “We’ve shown now we can win in the North East, which we’ve never done before.
“We can’t stop smiling and we hope there will be more in the European elections.”
Elvin was left with even more reason to feel cheerful ahead of May 23 after his party took three seats on the city council.
Looking ahead to the upcoming regional poll, he said: “We can only carry on working towards our ultimate goal, which is leaving the EU.
“This is a stepping stone and it will help us get our message out.
“But who can say [what will happen], the North East is the most difficult place in the UK to win a seat, so we will just have to see how things play out.”
The North East region is due to elect three MEPs later this month under the proportional representation d’Hondt system.
James Harrison , Local Democracy Reporting Service