LABOUR stormed to victory at the Euro election count — while UKIP secured three MEPs to send to the European Parliament, their best ever result in the North West.
The two groups took votes from the BNP and the Liberal Democrats, with sitting MEPs Nick Griffin and Chris Davies both losing their seats.
The Conservative party held on to two MEPs, Jacqueline Foster and Sajjad Karim.
Theresa Griffin, the top candidate to have been elected for Labour, said she will spend the next five years in Brussels and Strasbourg fighting for jobs, growth and the protection of “our most precious institution”, the NHS.
She said she will continue to work with the town’s three MPs and Bolton Council leader Cllr Cliff Morris to provide high-quality training and jobs for young people.
She added: “I attended a women’s day event with Bolton West MP Julie Hilling a few weeks ago and met 105 women to talk about issues that matter to them.
“A lot of the legislation that is important to them comes from the EU — equal pay, protection at work and the right to return to work after you have had a baby.”
UKIP deputy leader Paul Nuttall hailed the count as the beginning of “four-party politics” in the UK, while newly elected Louise Bours said they would use the European election as a springboard for the general election in May next year.
The party won two council seats at Bolton’s local elections on Thursday, the first in Greater Manchester, and gained a greater proportion of the vote in Bolton compared with the North West.
Ms Bours said: “The North West has been a difficult region for us, but we really put our message out there and people like what we are saying.
“Ahead of 2015 we will sit down and decide what seats to target — we have never done that before — depending on where we returned local candidates and whether we have a good base of local support.”
The Green Party’s leading candidate in the North West, Peter Cranie, blamed the media attention on UKIP for the lack of his party’s success.
The party had been hoping to secure their first representative in European Parliament, and increased its share of the vote.
He said: “Across the region we’ve seen a stunning rise in membership, with hundreds of people joining us during the campaign.
“In the last few weeks of the campaign, once people heard about our policies, we gained their support, but it wasn’t enough to make up for UKIP’s media saturation.”
CANDIDATES WHO STOOD FOR EUROPE
British National Party:
Socialist Equality Party:
Turnout: 36.7 per cent
Total verified ballots: 72,153
- An Independence From Europe: 1,124 (1.56 per cent)
- British National Party: 1,534 (2.1 per cent)
- Conservatives: 13,696 (18.9 per cent)
- English Democrats: 826 (1.1 per cent)
- Green Party: 3,486 (4.8 per cent)
- Labour: 25,608 (35.4 per cent)
- Liberal Democrats: 2,290 (3.2 per cent)
- NO2EU: 186 (0.2 per cent)
- Socialist Equality Party: 134 (0.2 per cent)
- Pirate Party: 289 (0.4 per cent)
- UKIP: 22, 983 (31.9 per cent)
Turnout: 33.66 per cent
Total verified ballots: 175,687
- An Independence from Europe: 26,731 (1.5 per cent)
- British National Party: 32,826 (1.9 per cent)
- Conservatives: 351,985 (20.1 per cent)
- English Democrats: 19,522 (1.1 per cent)
- Green Party: 123,075 (7 per cent)
- Labour: 594,063 (33.9 per cent)
- Liberal Democrats: 105,487 (6 per cent)
- NO2EU: 5,402 (0.3 per cent)
- Socialist Equality Party: 5,067 (0.3 per cent)
- Pirate Party: 8,597 (0.5 per cent)
- UKIP: 481,932 (27.5 per cent)
North West MEPs
Theresa Griffin (Labour)
Paul Nuttall (UKIP)
Jacqueline Foster (Conservative)
Afzal Khan (Labour)
Louise Bours (UKIP)
Julie Ward (Labour)
Sajjad Karim (Conservative)
Steven Woolfe (UKIP)