UKIP leader Gerard Batten has lost his race to be re-elected to the European Parliament; knocked from the position he has held for more than a decade as the loony Lib Dem vote surged in his pro-remain constituency of London.
The democracy-denying Lib Dems came first in the capital with three MEPs, followed by Labour with two, the Brexit Party with two and Green Party with one.
With two regions declared UKIP had 4.2% of the vote so far, down 29 points since its result in 2014 as votes bled away to the Brexit Party.
Mr Batten, who was top of the party’s list in London, is braced for UKIP to lose dozens of seats as tonight’s results are declared.
It comes after UKIP’s deputy leader Mike Hookem stood down to challenge his boss in the inevitable UKIP leadership election and Batten’s announcement shortly before the result that if he lost tonight he would likely stand-down sooner.
“If I lost my seat in London it would be untenable for me to continue as leader” he told Sky News on Sunday. “But I won’t make a decision about what I am doing until after the European elections because I am getting a lot of people in the party overwhelmingly saying to me, whatever the result is, they want me to continue.”
“I will base my decision on the outcome of the European elections” he added, “and how I feel afterwards”.
UKIP are expected to lose all of their seats tonight to former UKIP poster boy Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.