In June 2009, elections were held across the EU for MEPís Ė Members of the European Parliament. These elections in the UK were held in the aftermath of the Westminster expenses scandal when many MPís were highly criticised for making numerous, and sometimes frivolous, expense claims while two members of the House of Lords were suspended for unacceptable behaviour Ė the first time this has happened in many years. With such seeming disillusionment in mainstream politics, it was believed that those parties outside of the mainstream would benefit from proportional representation and much media attention was especially focussed on the British National Party (BNP). Prior to the election, some polls gave the BNP enough support to get 8 MEPís. The nearer it got to the actual election on June 4th, the more this figure decreased. But there was a concern expressed in Parliament that the BNP would get at least one MEP.
In fact, once the election results were announced, it became abundantly clear that the Labour Party had done very badly while for the first time ever, the BNP got two representatives elected to a major political entity Ė the European Parliament.
The Labour Party received 15.3% of all votes cast and got 13 MEPís elected, a decrease of 5 from the 2004 election.
The Conservative Party received 28.6% of all votes cast and got 25 MEPís elected, an increase of 1 from the 2004 figure.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) received 17.4% of all votes cast and got 13 MEPís, an increase of 1 from the 2004 figure.
The Liberal Democrat Party got 13.7% of all votes cast and got 11 MEPís, an increase of 1 from the 2004 figure.
The Green Party got 8.6% of all votes cast and got 2 MEPís, the same as in 2004.
The British National Party got 6.2% of all votes cast and got 2 MEPís, an increase of 2 from the 2004 figure.
The Scottish National Party got 2.1% of all votes cast and got 2 MEPís, the same as in 2004.
Plaid Cymru got 0.8% of all votes cast and got 1 MEP; the same as in 2004.
In Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein, the DUP and the UCU all got 1 MEP each.
DUP = Democratic Unionist Party
UCU = Ulster Conservatives and Unionists.