POLITICS
26/05/2014 15:24 BST | Updated 26/05/2014 15:59 BST

European Election Results 2014: An Independence From Europe Party Probably Cost Ukip One More MEP

Ukip could have won even more seats in the European Parliament, with a party with a suspiciously similar name picking up more than 23,000 votes in one region.

An Independence from Europe, which has the slogan 'UK Independence Now' is likely to have cost Ukip a third MEP in the South West. That third MEP would have been Gawain Towler, one of the party's spin doctors.

Instead the seat with the Greens, who pipped the Lib Dems by 6,069 votes.

ukip

Supporters of Britain's United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) celebrate in South Ockenden, England

The number of anti-EU parties on the ballot paper was potentially confusing. Other parties included An Independence from Europe, as well as No2EU, Britain First, and the We Want A Referendum Now party.

An Independence from Europe party was set up by a former Ukip MEP who was deselected last year, is near the top of the list of parties on the ballot paper, because they are listed alphabetically. It received 230,000 votes across the UK, more than the BNP.

In an interview with The Telegraph earlier this month, Nigel Farage said the "non-party that masquerades as being us that could well cost us the election, and that is very worrying. There could be a large number of people who vote for a party different from the one they intended to vote for. This is supposed to be democracy.

“We have had postal voters ring us up and say ‘oh dear, we have voted for the wrong party’. My contention is that ‘An Independence Party’ with the slogan ‘UK Independence Now’ is passing off.

“It is a group of disaffected people, people that we have deselected, that we have kicked out of the party, who have done this in an attempt to damage Ukip. It is astonishing that the Electoral Commission could have allowed this to happen. I cannot imagine a party with the word Conservative, or Labour or Liberal in it being allowed on the ballot paper."

Savouring his victory, Farage has named several key constituencies and areas the party hopes to clinch in 2015.

They are:

  • Great Grimsby
  • Boston
  • Yarmouth
  • Thanet
  • Folkestone
  • Portsmouth
  • Plymouth
  • Aylesbury
  • Rotherham, Eastleigh
  • Cambridgeshire

But the next priority for Ukip is the Newark by-election, the party's leader said at his victory speech today.

"The people's army of Ukip are on their way to Newark," he said. "We are going to give it our best shot."

Farage said that the eurosceptic party will "give it our best shot" in next week's by-election in Newark - an area where it finished top last night despite trailing the Tories by 25,000 votes in the 2010 general election - and was hoping to secure "a good number" of MPs when the country goes to the polls in May 2015.

"If we were to win Newark, David Cameron would be in even more trouble than Nick Clegg. If we were to overturn this massive majority they have got, it would be a very hot, long summer in the Tory Party."

Asked whether his stunning victory was the result of a protest vote Farage said: "It's beginning to look like a permanent protest."