The SNP has won the European election in Scotland with 29% of the vote.
SNP leader and First Minister Alex Salmond said it was a “a remarkable result for the SNP”, and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was “a vote of confidence in the Scottish Government”.
Sturgeon added: “This is a fantastic victory for the SNP […] Over seven years into an SNP Government, and we have won the popular vote yet again in a national election, as once again voters put their trust in the SNP.”
She said she was “delighted” that Ian Hudghton and Alyn Smith had been re-elected, describing the pair as “strong and effective voices for Scotland, helping to defend our interests in Europe and put forward Scotland’s case on key issues in the European Parliament”.
Scotland elected two SNP MEPs, two Labour MEPs, one Conservative MEP, and one Ukip MEP.
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said it was “a good night for the Conservatives in Scotland”, as they noted a slight increase in support and the election of Dr Ian Duncan, the centre-right party’s new MEP.
Duncan said: “I am delighted the people of Scotland have placed their trust in me and I intend to repay that trust when I get to Brussels.”
Meanwhile, the Scottish Green Party recorded its best-ever result with 8.1% of the vote, a slight increase on their 2009 performance.
It was not enough to secure a Green MEP, with top candidate, Edinburgh councillor Maggie Chapman, admitting she was “personally disappointed at falling just short of election”.
Reflecting on the party’s performance, Green co-convenor Patrick Harvie said: “We have strengthened our position as the torch-bearer for radical ideas in Scottish politics, and are in the process of replacing the Liberal Democrats as Scotland’s fourth major party. Based on this result, we can look forward to electing many more Green MSPs in 2016.”
Ukip made the biggest gains of the night by more than doubling their vote share to 10.5%, easily knocking out the Liberal Democrat incumbent. Labour also noted a significant increase in support.