Female academics are too scarce. So their applications are going to the top of the pile | Frank Baaijens
At Eindhoven University we've tried many ways to take on more female engineers, to no avail. Time for drastic measures
Engineering has a huge impact on society. To responsibly advance science and technology, a university should be a balanced reflection of society. As a top engineering university we believe that diversity and inclusiveness is crucial for the quality of our teaching and research. More than that, we believe we can turn a fully representative academic workforce into a unique strength. This is why, from 1 July, all our job vacancies will be exclusively open to female candidates for the first six months after they are advertised.
This is certainly a radical step, as the international headlines about our move attest. But we felt it was a necessary step as the more subtle measures we tried over the past 10 years were to no avail. The targets we set for female recruitment and the missionary work of our chief diversity officers were certainly useful in making our staff and community aware of inequalities and their own biases. As a result, at least two women are now on every selection panel. And yet, the gender imbalance persists with only 16% of our full professors being female – one of the lowest percentages in the Netherlands, and indeed in Europe.
There is overwhelming evidence that diverse teams are more creative and productive
Related: Men built this system. No wonder gender equality remains as far off as ever | Ellie Mae O'Hagan Continue reading...

Three Russians and one Ukrainian to face MH17 murder charges
Four named as first to be charged over death of 298 people on flight downed over Ukraine
Four suspects will face murder charges for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, three of them Russians, international investigators have said, with a trial due to start next March in the Netherlands.
Almost five years after the plane was downed over eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard, prosecutors said on Wednesday there was enough evidence to bring criminal charges.
Related: MH17 suspects: Dutch reveal backgrounds of Ukraine separatists Continue reading...

MH17: the four Russian-backed separatists named as suspects
Details emerge of former Russia militia leaders and Ukrainian facing murder charges over missile attack
Dutch-led investigators have named four Russian-backed separatists as their first suspects for the shooting down in 2014 of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over east Ukraine.
The four men include former military officers who occupied senior positions in Russian-backed militias in east Ukraine that year, including Igor Girkin, who was named as minister of defence for the Donetsk People's Republic. Continue reading...

MH17: Four suspects named for shooting down plane – video
Four suspects, three of them Russian, will face murder charges for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014, international investigators have said. A trial is due to start next March in the Netherlands. The suspects were named as Igor Girkin, a former colonel of Russia's FSB spy service; Sergey Dubinskiy, employed by Russia's GRU military intelligence agency; Oleg Pulatov, a former soldier with the GRU's special forces Spetsnaz unit; and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian man.

Continue reading...

MH17 court case will finally put truth on record
Legal process essential even if those charged over killing of 298 passengers never go to jail
Wash kits, bags of duty-free shopping and sections of overhead compartment lay strewn across the fields. In one spot, there was a stack of holiday reading. The body of a young Malaysian boy had landed outside a babushka's cottage.
The aftermath of the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was a landscape of carnage and chaos. Parts of the plane and its contents landed across several kilometres of the normally peaceful Ukrainian countryside, where villages had already been disturbed by months of war and people now witnessed bodies falling from the sky. Continue reading...

MH17: prosecutors to identify suspects and file first charges
Inquiry expected to name first four suspects over downing of flight that killed 298 in 2014

Dutch prosecutors are to identify suspects and file the first criminal charges over the 2014 downing of flight MH17 over east Ukraine which killed 298 people in the worst atrocity in five years of war between Ukraine and Russia-backed separatists.
The charges are likely to target members of a Russia-backed separatist movement and may include Russian service personnel who commanded or helped transport the anti-aircraft missile system used to bring down the plane.
Related: Q&A: What we know and don't know about the downing of MH17 Continue reading...

Top engineering university to open jobs exclusively to women
Eindhoven University of Technology aims to address ‘implicit gender bias'

Job vacancies at one of Europe's leading engineering universities will be open exclusively to female candidates for at least the next 18 months in order to overcome the institution's "implicit gender bias".
The rector of the Eindhoven University of Technology, Frank Baaijens, said progress towards a better balance of men and women in academic roles had been stubbornly slow. Continue reading...

Fake news will thrive as long we are happy to see only what we want to see | Kenan Malik
Two very different cases reveal the grave risks of misreporting and misinterpretation
If a gorilla walked right in front of your eyes, you wouldn't miss it, would you? Actually, half the country probably would.
In a classic 1999 experiment, psychologists Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons showed people a video of basketball players, some wearing white shirts, some wearing black, and asked them to count how many times the players in white passed the ball. Halfway through the film, a woman in a gorilla suit saunters into the scene, faces the audience, thumps her chest and walks away. Extraordinarily, more than half of Chabris's and Simons's subjects were so intent on watching the ball being thrown that they failed to see the gorilla.
Much of what we call fake news may be the result not of a desire to lie but to reduce complex problems to simple truths Continue reading...

Brexit effect forces women to go to Netherlands for abortions
Charity says visa delays making it harder for immigrant women in Ireland to travel to UK
A pro-choice charity that for decades has helped thousands of Irish women access abortions in England is sending foreign nationals to the Netherlands due to tighter UK visa regulations and the effects of Brexit.
The Abortion Support Network (ASN) said it was guiding immigrant women in Ireland towards Dutch abortion facilities because it was taking too long to obtain visas for English clinics. Continue reading...

Dutch girl was not 'legally euthanised' and died at home
Noa Pothoven is believed to have refused to eat and there is no evidence of assisted death
A severely ill Dutch girl widely reported by international media as having been "legally euthanised" in a clinic in the Netherlands died at home, apparently after voluntarily refusing to eat or drink and with no evidence that her death was assisted.
Noa Pothoven, 17, who for several years had been treated in multiple institutions for severe depression and anorexia, and had made previous attempts to kill herself, died at her parents' home in Arnhem on 2 June, local media reported. Continue reading...

Punks, beatniks, vagabonds: Ed van der Elsken's world – in pictures
The Dutch photographer's joyful and intimate images of young bohemians captured the lives, loves and struggles of those immersed a global counterculture Continue reading...

Unwelcome guests: moped riders protest as Amsterdam drives them from bike lanes
Dutch capital steps its pro-cycling reputation up a gear with new regulations – and not everyone is happy
Convoys of mopeds speed down Amsterdam's bike lanes, beeping their horns and flouting their bare heads. This isn't some strange Dutch festival, though. These were protests from some of the thousands of furious moped riders ahead of a new city regulation which came into force this week to force them out of bike lanes, on to main roads and into helmets.
The cycling city of Amsterdam is stepping up a gear – with plans to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from the centre by 2030, the removal of 10,000 car-parking spaces, a hike in parking charges and a wide range of measures to take from the car and give to pedestrians, cyclists, green space and children.

As a series of crises puts Europe under strain, some cities are fighting back with innovative solutions. From hyper-specialist shops beating the online threat in Berlin to the Bulgarian city reversing the country's brain drain, from the Italian city finding new ways to tackle addiction to gambling to the Swedish town that has found innovative ways to combat extremism, we look at what European cities are doing to live better in our increasingly urban world.
Related: How Amsterdam became the bicycle capital of the world Continue reading...

‘Boys become tough men here' – the neighbourhood that made Wijnaldum
‘Shootings, prostitutes and needles' – the Liverpool midfielder's brother, Giliano, and childhood friend David Mendes da Silva explain what it was like to grow up in Schiemond
There are no flowers any more and no remembrance plaque but David Mendes da Silva and Giliano Wijnaldum, the younger brother of the Liverpool midfielder Georginio, know exactly where to stop to point out the spot where Anthony Fernandes was killed. Fernandes was one of Georginio Wijnaldum's best friends, but on 4 May 2012 his life ended on the Westkousdijk, his body riddled with bullets after a drugs-related dispute.
Related: Georginio Wijnaldum: ‘Klopp was interested in my personal life and that was good for me'
In the cellars there were prostitutes and their clients, there were dealers and pimps Continue reading...

Hells Angels banned by Dutch court in biker gang crackdown
Court has said the ‘club of outlaws' is a danger to the public order
Dutch judges have banned the biker club Hells Angels and ordered all its chapters to close in the Netherlands as authorities pursue a clampdown on outlaw motorcycle gangs.
The country-wide ban is a first for the club, which operates 470 chapters in 56 countries.
Related: Hells Angels at Dawn Continue reading...

Why populists could struggle to capitalise on EU elections success
Populists won 29% of seats, analysis shows, but divisions could blunt their influence
Populists have won nearly three in 10 seats in the European parliament, according to new analysis, which also shows how anti-establishment parties fell short of apocalyptic predictions.
Analysis shared with the Guardian reveals that populists, spanning the far right to the radical left, won 29% of seats in European elections, their best ever score, but not the populist wave some had predicted would upend the EU.
Related: 'Spectres of the past': Angela Merkel sounds alarm over antisemitism Continue reading...

‘It was a no-brainer': but does a degree from abroad really make a difference?
As applications to study in Europe plummet before Brexit, we ask British students who've done it where they are now
Adam Hussain was about to go to university in 2013 when tuition fees in the UK nearly trebled to £9,000. With additional loans for living costs, he realised he would incur debts of £40,000. So when he saw a television report about an exodus of UK students to the Netherlands, Hussain decided to attend an open day at Maastricht University, where annual fees were €2,000 (then about £1,700). That year more than 1,000 British freshers started university in the Netherlands.
"I already wanted to live abroad; when the higher fees came in it was a no-brainer," says Hussain, 24, who attended an east London comprehensive.
Related: Top UK universities consider new campuses in Europe
Related: Erasmus scheme in chaos as UK students left in limbo Continue reading...

‘People aren't disabled, their city is': inside Europe's most accessible city
From flattened cobbles to threshold ramps, the Dutch city of Breda has much to teach its neighbours
When I arrived at Breda station last month to find out why this Dutch city was recently named the winner of the 2019 Access City award, I did something I have not done while travelling in a long time. Instead of taking a taxi, I independently pushed the two kilometres to the hotel, to see whether lack of access for wheelchair users like me is as big a problem here as it is in most other cities.
Usually, a journey like that would be a nightmare, particularly in older European towns like Breda, a city of just under 200,000 people that was an important centre during the Holy Roman Empire. Medieval city centres and cobble-stoned markets are a recipe for broken castor wheels and painful pressure sores for wheelchair users.
The award is about a commitment to improve. We have done a lot, but there is more to do

As a series of crises puts Europe under strain, some cities are fighting back with innovative solutions. From hyper-specialist shops beating the online threat in Berlin to the Bulgarian city reversing the country's brain drain, from the Italian city finding new ways to tackle addiction to gambling to the Swedish town that has found innovative ways to combat extremism, we look at what European cities are doing to live better in our increasingly urban world.
Sometimes we get angry about the limitations we face, but the conversation always continues
Related: Sign up for the Cityscape: the best of Guardian Cities every week Continue reading...

European elections: triumphant Greens demand more radical climate action
Green politicians to push agenda urging climate action, social justice and civil liberties
Europe's Greens, big winners in Sunday's European elections, will use their newfound leverage in a fractured parliament to push an agenda of urgent climate action, social justice and civil liberties, the movement's leaders say.
"This was a great outcome for us – but we now also have a great responsibility, because voters have given us their trust," Bas Eickhout, a Dutch MEP and the Greens' co-lead candidate for commission president, told the Guardian.
Related: An NBA star, a TV chef and a comedian: meet some of the new MEPs
Related: Far-right MEPs could threaten EU climate policy, experts warn Continue reading...

European elections 2019: Tories unlikely to deliver on Brexit, says Farage – as it happened
Across EU, voters boost Greens and far right to leave centrist groups diminished

We're going to close down this live blog now. Thanks for reading and commenting. Here's a summary of what's happened as the results of Thursday's vote were counted across the European Union:
Related: European election latest results 2019: across the UK
Related: Corbyn backs referendum on Brexit deal after voter exodus

Labour needs to change tack, its deputy leader, Tom Watson, has told the BBC.
We've lost many hundreds of thousands, if not millions of potential votes in that election because we got it wrong. And the time is now to show some humility, to listen and to move very, very quickly.

The elections of the Alliance party's Naomi Long and Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson have been confirmed on the fifth count in Northern Ireland. Long secured 170,370 votes after transfers, with Anderson retaining her seat after gaining 152,436.
There were jubilant scenes inside the count centre as the results were confirmed. Long's supporters chanted "Yes she did" as they presented her with flowers in the Alliance colour of yellow.

Michael Gove will pledge free British citizenship for 3 million EU nationals after Brexit if he becomes prime minister, as well as abolishing the burden of providing proof of settled status, my colleagues – Lisa O'Carroll and Jessica Elgot – write.
Related: Michael Gove to pledge free UK citizenship for 3m EU nationals
Michael Gove has fully agreed to adopt my proposals and he will publicly announce that it was wrong to put EU citizens on the negotiation table in the first place.
But he will also go further and offer them British citizenship at no cost if he becomes prime minister. This is Michael's way of saying to EU nationals: I'm sorry, the Vote Leave campaign was never about EU citizens' rights.

Vince Cable has claimed the Liberal Democrats could have beaten the Brexit party in the European elections if remain forces had formed a pact and said the task for his successor would be how to bring pro-referendum parties together.
Cable said his party, which gained 14 MEPs and came second behind Nigel Farage's party, said tactical voters had switched to his party in droves, but said more could have been achieved if parties had been prepared to make a pact.
In the event, no great damage was done, but I think we would have actually come out on top if we had been together.
Related: Remain forces pact would have helped Lib Dems beat Brexit party, says Cable

The Scottish Labour leader, Richard Leonard, has openly backed a second EU referendum and said he would vote to remain, as he sought to fend off a torrent of criticism after his party lost both its MEPs in a humiliating rout in the European elections. Leonard has written to Scottish Labour members to say:

As leader in Scotland I accept that constitutional issues have cost us electorally over the last five years and that trust in us has been eroded. We can and we will rebuild that trust.
My intention is to begin to set out a planned way forward over the coming weeks. Starting now, with firmly stating that I back the option to remain and that any Brexit deal should be ratified by a second public vote, one that has clear and credible options for remain and leave.

Earlier, it emerged Sajid Javid would seek the keys to Number 10 once Theresa May stands down as Tory leader (see 2.47pm). The Lib Dems believe his record as home secretary should disqualify him from serious consideration. The party's home affairs spokesman, Ed Davey, has said:

Sajid Javid's been running for Tory leader ever since he set foot in the Home Office. Scaremongering about refugees, eroding civil liberties and undermining human rights – it's all straight out of Theresa May's playbook.
Javid's record as home secretary should disqualify him from entering Number 10. We've just seen what happens when a terrible home secretary becomes a disastrous prime minister. We don't need a repeat.

Scotland should hold a second independence referendum next year, the SNP leader, Nicola Sturgeon, says. The country's first minister made the comments on a visit to Dublin, where she said the latter half of 2020 would be the "right time" for a new poll.
There will be another Scottish independence referendum and I will make a prediction today that Scotland will vote for independence and we will become an independent country just like Ireland, and the strong relationship between our two countries now will become even stronger soon.
I want to see Scotland having the choice of independence within this term of the Scottish parliament, which ends in May 2021, so towards the latter half of next year would be when I think is the right time for that choice.
We voted over 60% to remain, we have tried very hard in the wake of the UK-wide Brexit vote to find compromises and protect our interests, and we have worked hard across party lines to try to prevent the worst impact of Brexit, and we have been ignored.
Scotland has been treated with contempt by Westminster and people are contrasting that with Ireland, that has been shown real solidarity and support from the European Union.

Here are five things we have learned from the 2019 European elections across the continent.

Average turnout EP elections clearly up in 2019 compared to 2014 BUT please remember:

1. It is down in 7 countries (striking given low in 2014).

2. It is up by only a little (< 2 %) in 5 countries.

3. Big changes (> 10 %) only in 7 countries.

4. Maximum > 20 % is Spain. pic.twitter.com/O3B4B1IChX

Mary Lou McDonald's Sinn Féin colleague, Michelle O'Neill, has said one of the factors behind the party's performance south of the border was that working-class voters did not come out.
Clearly we are disappointed with those results and we will have to have a full analysis of all of that – we will do that throughout the course of time.
I think it's a combination of reasons you could point to very quickly, not least the surge of the Greens and I think the fact in working-class areas the vote didn't come out.

Mary Lou McDonald, the leader of Sinn Féin, said the party was "not simply about winning elections" as she reacted to her party's poor showing in Ireland's local elections.
The party president was pressed on the performance as she arrived at the Northern Ireland European election count centre in Magherafelt.

Over in Cyprus, the unprecedented election of a Turkish Cypriot MEP has been welcomed as a triumph of coexistence over ethnic division on the war-partitioned island.
Niyazi Kızılyürek was elected to the European parliament after winning 25,051 votes. In a first, the university professor was fielded by a Greek Cypriot party, the leftwing main opposition Akel, in a move described as symbolic of its "vision for the freedom and reunification of our country."
Turkish Cypriot participation creates the conditions for all citizens to understand that Europe can help us overcome problems in [reunification] talks and create the conditions where we could be happy living in a reunited country.
I think it is a special case in itself. It shows that there are many people in our country who are ready to work together for a better Cyprus, for a better Europe.

The Sinn Féin president, Mary Lou McDonald, hugged Martina Anderson, the Sinn Féin candidate who received the most first preference votes, upon arriving at the count in Northern Ireland.

"I think it was very important that a pro-remain candidate topped the poll," she said.

"I think this result is a resounding rejection of Brexit again. It sends the clearest possible message ... I think this is a vindication of the politics of remain, I think it is vindication of the politics of common sense, it's about us standing together collectively and protecting our rights and interests."

Naomi Long, the Alliance party leader, said the pro-remain vote across the UK was the strongest it had been for years. She expressed confidence Brexit could be stopped. "I think we can and if we don't it won't be for a want of trying," she said.
The former Belfast mayor said she would remain Alliance leader despite having to give up her seat in the assembly, expressing hope the term in Europe would prove to be five years.

The Brexit Party leader, Nigel Farage, has said it is "extremely unlikely" that a future Tory leader will take the UK out of the EU by the end of October.

The Alliance party got more than 105,000 votes in the European election in Northern Ireland, resulting in it more than doubling its total from the 2014 poll.
Naomi Long, the party's leader, was given a rapturous welcome by supporters as she arrived at the count centre. "I am speechless for once, "she said. "I am really delighted, I am thrilled."

The former East Belfast MP said the size of her vote was "beyond expectations". Her voice broke as she thanked the people who voted for her. "I take it really seriously and I will serve them to the absolute best of my ability – they have my word on that," she said.

A subdued looking Luigi Di Maio said on Monday his Five Star Movement (M5S) party must "reorganise" after its dismal performance in the European elections.
Support for the anti-establishment party slumped by almost half as it was usurped by its national coalition partner, the far-right League, which took 34.3% of the vote compared to M5S's 17.1%.

For us, the elections went badly. We will take a lesson from those who didn't vote for us, we will learn, we won't die and we will move forward.

Sinn Féin members said that intensive discussion was needed after the party suffered losses in local elections.

On Monday, Matt Carthy, the MEP candidate for the Midlands North West constituency in Ireland, said he expected to fight for the final of the four seats, after his first preference votes were down from the 2014 election.
"It's down on the last election which isn't surprising given the weekend we're after having," he said. "At this point we're more hopeful than confident but we're going to be in the mix for the final seat at this stage, so let's see where it goes."

Austria's chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, has been forced out of office, after losing a confidence vote, following a corruption scandal that engulfed his coalition government.
With fresh elections scheduled for early September, Austria will in the interim period be governed by a technocratic government of experts and senior civil servants.
During a debate in which the delegates of the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) resolutely refused to lend Sebastian Kurz the customary applause, rightwing populist politicians accused the centre-right chancellor of having tried to use the so-called "Ibiza" scandal to consolidate his power at the top of government.

Austria's parliament has just voted to oust chancellor Sebastian Kurz in a vote of no-confidence. Entire government now swept away by Ibiza scandal.

The European elections are over; the race for Europe's top jobs is just starting.
The European Union's 28 heads of state and government will meet in Brussels on Tuesday for a special summit dinner to discuss the election results and the next men and women to lead the EU institutions.

Good talks in Paris today with President @EmmanuelMacron ahead of our EU summits in May and June. #euco pic.twitter.com/cYvxKUWDUp
France and Germany have shown that by themselves they are no longer in a position to advance Europe. More states are needed to participate in the leadership task.

In Ireland, Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness has taken the first seat in the Midlands North-west constituency.
Speaking immediately after her election, McGuinness said she had already drawn up a to-do list for Brussels. She thanked everyone who voted for her, adding that she was "delighted, relieved and a bit tired".

Even though Marine Le Pen's far-right party came first in France's European election and gained half a million more votes than last time, Emmanuel Macron's camp greeted the result with some relief, saying it could have been worse.
The playing down of Le Pen's first-place position indicated how the far right has steadily become a regular and unquestioned part of French political life despite political opponents condemning it as racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic and hate-mongering.

Arriving at the count centre, Democratic Unionist party leader Arlene Foster said:
Of course, we would have preferred to have had two unionist MEPs returned – what we have instead is a nationalist MEP, a very strong unionist MEP and an MEP who identifies as neither.
When I look at the votes, which I think is very important, I notice that unionism is still ahead by over 40,000 votes and of course I am very pleased about that.
We found that when we spoke to people they said ‘we have already voted, we told what you want, we want out of Europe'.

Victoria Prentis has become the first Tory MP to back the "radical central ground" candidate Rory Stewart for leadership of the party.
"Rory is the person we need to unify the country & the party & deliver #Brexit quickly. He has the track record, energy & the ideas," she tweeted.

I am supporting @RoryStewartUK for Leader of the Conservatives. Rory is the person we need to unify the country & the party & deliver #Brexit quickly. He has the track record, energy & the ideas. Decency and pragmatism are at the heart of his approach. https://t.co/BfCREdKoCF

Now in Barking - which voted 62 per cent to leave - come engage and challenge me - here for the next couple of hours pic.twitter.com/dZnhGMGYDr

Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz looks all but certain to lose his job, despite a convincing first-place result for his centre-right People's party (ÖVP) in European elections.

The ÖVP took 35% of the vote, winning seven of Austria's 18 seats in the European parliament. The Socialists came second with five seats, while the far-right Freedom party gained three, after being hit by a corruption scandal days before the poll.
Kurz gambled away his chances and, Mr Chancellor, you bear full responsibility.
To topple the government a few months before an election is something few people in this country can understand.

The home secretary and former investment banker has announced his candidacy to become the leader of the Tory party.

I'm standing to be the next leader of @Conservatives & Prime Minister of our great country. We need to restore trust, bring unity and create new opportunities across the UK. First and foremost, we must deliver Brexit. Join @TeamSaj to help me do just that #TeamSaj pic.twitter.com/qfH1lLNusQ

A thriller is underway in Greece with ever more media reporting that it will be a matter of votes as to whether Yanis Varoufakis's European Realistic Disobedience Front (MeRA 25) party wins a seat in the European parliament.
MeRA 25 is part of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25), an alliance of left-wingers and greens ran candidates, which ran candidates in eight countries, with Varoufakis trying and failing to secure a seat in Germany.

Belgium is digesting a surge in support for the far-right Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) party that will make forming a new government more difficult than ever.

While wealthy Dutch-speaking Flanders moved to the right, the Francophone region of Wallonia went left, raising the prospect of months of wrangling to form a new coalition government.

I think it's going to be very difficult [to form a federal government].
You see that this is two countries under one flag. They should make it a confederation.
I am not for the cordon sanitaire. It is not democratic. But of course, fundamentally, we [the VB and NVA] are certainly very different.

The election is set to shake up the political landscape in Northern Ireland with the third seat in the three-seat constituency almost certain to the pro-remain Alliance Party.
After the first count the party's leader Naomi Long was hot on the heels of the two main political parties, Sinn Fein and the DUP, who were in first and second place.

#EUelections2019 Northern Ireland first round. 105,928 - an extraordinary result for Alliance Party Leader Naomi Long. pic.twitter.com/Q5JusO1Z3k

Members of the Brexit party should now be brought in by the government to take part in negotiations with the European Union, senior figure in the party have demanded.
The call by Nigel Farage was echoed by Richard Tice, who has just been elected as one of the party's three MEPs in the East of England constituency.

Spain's outgoing foreign minister Josep Borrell - tipped by some for the post of the EU foreign policy chief – has accused the UK of being an insurmountable barrier to his agenda of a European political union, and says he is, as a result, indifferent about whether the UK leaves, so long as the departure is not chaotic.
Borrell led the successful Spanish socialist campaign in the European parliament elections, and has given an interview in which he questions whether the UK will be allowed to stay beyond the next deadline of 31 October.

Support for pro-remain parties eclipsed pro-leave parties, despite the Brexit party's overall victory, the Guardian's Dan Sabbagh writes in this analysis piece.
He adds that Nigel Farage's Brexit party may have triumphed in the European election by a significant margin, but there is enough data for remain supporters to argue that their side was victorious on the night – and that they could win any second referendum.
There are several ways to make plausible comparisons. The simplest is to compare the Brexit party's 5.2m votes across Great Britain (Northern Ireland is not due to declare until Tuesday) with the "Bollocks to Brexit" Lib Dems and the pro-remain Greens, who attracted 3.4m and 2m. Taken together, they come out 132,000 votes higher at 5.4m.
A second method is to take all the pro-Brexit parties – Farage's party and Ukip – and compare that against the pro-remain parties, taking in Change UK and the Scottish and Welsh nationalists. That gives you 5.8 million voting unambiguously pro-Brexit – or 34.9% – and 6.7 million voting for remain parties, including 753,000 from the Scottish and Welsh nationalists, or 40.4%.

Voters are being counted in Northern Ireland, where there is speculation that a strong showing by the cross-community Alliance Party means that it will take the third European parliamentary seat there at the cost of the Ulster Unionist Party.
The Democratic Unionist Party's Diane Dodds and Sinn Fein's Martina Anderson are expected to take the other two seats on a turnout which the Electoral Office for Northern Ireland put at more than 45%, a drop from 2014.

There is much soul-searching in Greek government circles today following the unexpectedly heavy defeat of prime minister Alexis Tsipras's Syriza party in the European elections.
With almost 83% of the vote counted, the leftist party was shown to be lagging behind New Democracy, its centre right opponent, by 9.44 percentage points, winning 23.7% of the vote compared with 33.23 %.

The outgoing lord mayor of Sheffield Magid Magid was elected as the first Green MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber on Sunday.

We did it.

Today is about a Green Wave cascading through Europe & landing on the shores of Yorkshire for the first time. We're just getting started.

This'll be more than a fleeting midsummer night's dream in Brussels. We're going to turn the tide of history!#EUelections2019 pic.twitter.com/91ndUZr8NZ

The outgoing prime minister, Theresa May, has made her first public comments since she announced her resignation on Friday. May said the results highlight the importance of finding a Brexit deal.

A very disappointing night for @Conservatives. Some excellent MEPs have lost their seats, some excellent candidates missed out. But Labour have also suffered big losses. It shows the importance of finding a Brexit deal, and I sincerely hope these results focus minds in Parliament

It's been a terrible 24 hours for Romania's ruling social democrat party.
Fresh from picking up just 23% of the vote in European elections, its chairman Liviu Dragnea has had his three-and-a-half year sentence for corruption upheld by Romania's highest court and will now be going to jail.

Following the declaration in the Western Isles, Scotland's MEPs have been confirmed. Three have been elected from the SNP, one from the Liberal Democrats, one from the Brexit party and one from the Conservatives.

Nigel Farage's Brexit party is not only the biggest party in the UK, but also one of the largest in the European parliament.
The Brexit party is tied for the title of largest party with Angela Merkel's centre-right CDU/CSU alliance. Both have 29 seats, according to the latest results.

The SNP has come top in the Western Isles in the final declaration in Scotland, winning 43.7% of the votes. The Brexit Party was second with 1,640 votes (19.9%), Labour in third with 814 votes (9.9%) and the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in joint fourth with 611 votes (7.4%).
The results confirm a sweeping SNP victory in Scotland in which Scottish Labour failed to win a single European seat after more than 200,000 voters deserted the party over Brexit and it suffered its worst election in modern political history.

Germany's far-right AfD has named the Greens its main rival after the environmentalist party's strong showing at European elections, as it insisted that data showed "no consensus" that climate change is man-made.
"They are our main competitors. We're taking them very seriously," said Joerg Meuthen, who headed the AfD's European elections list.

The next European parliament brings an intriguing alliance between Emmanuel Macron's centrist party and the resurgent Liberal Democrats.
In a sense, European parliament elections happen twice: once on polling day and a second time in the month after the vote, when parties across Europe scramble to forge pan-European alliances.

Look forward to returning with a great bunch of skilled and committed MEP with a clear mandate to #StopBrexit and build a forward looking, sustainable and fair #EU https://t.co/iJ1HQXL66T

The former Brexit secretary has said there is still time to negotiate a legally binding exchange of letters to remove the Irish backstop from the withdrawal agreement with the EU.
"I'm the negotiator who Michel Barnier and Guy Verhofstadt complained pushed Brussels too hard," he adds.

Dominic Raab sets out his Brexit plans: pic.twitter.com/MMuVm7csJm

"Leave voters thought we were pro-remain; remain voters thought we were pro-leave and the membership were so fed up they refused to take part in the campaign." That's how a senior Labour politician in the party's Welsh heartlands described the European parliament election drive. The results were inevitable, writes Paul Mason.
Labour came third in Wales, behind Plaid Cymru. In Yorkshire and the Humber it suppressed its own vote so badly that turnout in Hull slumped to 24%. Labour won around 14% of the popular vote – down 10 points on 2014 – and is set to lose nearly half its seats in Brussels.
Related: Corbynism is now in crisis: the only way forward is to oppose Brexit | Paul Mason

A near complete collapse in support for Ukip, which saw all of its MEPs lose their seats, has cast doubts over whether the party will continue as a viable political entity.
The pro-Brexit party suffered a drop of more than 24 percentage points in its vote share as supporters deserted it in droves for the Brexit party, now led by the former Ukip leader Nigel Farage.

Jeremy Corbyn has appeared to dampen down speculation that the party would push for a second referendum after the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, tweeted this morning that the issue of Brexit must be taken "back to people in a public vote".

Asked on the BBC if McDonnell was referring to a general election or a second referendum, the Labour leader said: "The priority at the moment I think is for this government to call a general election and actually have a general election so we can decide the future.

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has been speaking to the BBC after last night's poor election results for his party. The MP for Islington North said Labour had had a very clear Brexit policy all along, adding it was clear that the issue would have to be put to the public again in a general election or a public vote.

Largest parties in the upcoming EU Parliament:

Brexit 29 seats
CDU 29
Lega 28
PiS 23
RN 22
Ren. 21
Grüne 21
PD 18
K. Europejska 18
LibDems 16
SPD 16
PNL 14
M5S 14
Fidesz 13
PP 12
Labour 11
GP 11
AfD 11

The nationalist and populist Sweden Democrats party has made the largest gains in the European parliament elections by grabbing 15.4% of the votes, up 5.7 percentage points over the last election in 2014. It is likely to translate to three seats in the EU parliament.
The ruling Social Democrats remain Sweden's largest party in the European assembly, winning 23.6 % of the votes to get five seats. They are followed by the country's second-largest party, the Moderates, which got four seats.

The shadow Brexit secretary, Keir Starmer, has become the latest high-profile Labour MP to call for a second Brexit referendum after last night's European elections.

It's no use trying to hide from these very disappointing results. We need to reflect hard and listen to our members, supporters and voters.

The only way to break the Brexit impasse is to go back to the public with a choice between a credible leave option and remain.

But as we move forward on this, we must remain united and able to speak to and for the country as a whole whichever way people voted in 2016.

Tommy Robinson was a big loser in the European elections, writes Frances Perraudin.
The founder of the far-right English Defence League got just 2.2% of the vote in the North West, losing his £5,000 deposit. The anti-Islam activist, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, told journalists the establishment had "arranged and organised" for him to be banned from social media to scupper his election bid, before sneaking out of the count in Manchester early.
Related: UK winners and losers in the European elections

Caroline Lucas has credited the Green party's messages prioritising action on the climate crisis and rejecting Brexit with delivering its best result in decades as it pushed the Tories into fifth place in England and Wales, writes Ben Quinn.
The number of Green MEPs more than doubled from three to seven as its share of the vote increased by 4.6% to 12.5%. Its leadership said the strong showing by it and other anti-Brexit parties bolstered the case for a new referendum.
Related: Green party celebrates EU result as it pushes Tories into fifth place

The results from central Europe, a region where populist politics have become entrenched in recent years, can be read in a number of different ways. On the one hand, Hungary's far-right ruling Fidesz party won 52% of the vote and 13 of the country's 21 seats, while Poland's populist Law and Justice (PiS) party won a convincing victory despite hopes before Sunday that an opposition coalition might just sneak into first place.
But there were also some signs of optimism for liberals. In Hungary, the newly formed Momentum party surpassed all expectations, taking around 10% of the vote and two seats in the European parliament. The party ran on a platform of progressive politics and increased European integration, the polar opposite of the rightwing, nationalist agenda of the prime minister, Viktor Orbán.

Poland's governing rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) won the European elections, near-complete official results showed on Monday, with its leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, urging a wider victory in the autumn general election.
The PiS took 45.56% of the vote to win 27 of Poland's 51 seats in the European parliament compared with 38.30% and 22 seats for the liberal European Coalition, according to official results from 99.31% of polling stations.

So people are absolutely clear what I am saying.Of course I want a general election. But I realise how difficult this is to secure.I will do anything I can to block no deal Brexit. So yes if,as likely GE not possible, then I support going back to the people in another referendum

The Conservative party deputy chair James Cleverly has hinted he fancies joining the leadership race by calling on the Tories "to look different, sound different, and do different things".
In a series of tweets he said: "We need to deliver Brexit in order to be believed and listened to, and when people start listening again we better have something more interesting to say than ‘more of the same'."

We need to look different, sound different, and do different things.

We need to deliver Brexit in order to be believed and listened to, and when people start listening again we better have something more interesting to say than "more of the same".

These terrible election results are not a surprise. It's because of the failure to leave the EU when we said we would. We must leave by 31st October deal or no deal. #EuropeanElectionResults

More reaction from Labour's top team, this time from the shadow home secretary, Diane Abbott. It follows calls from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, for the party to back a second public vote.

We have to take the time to analyse the EU vote. But, when we come in third after the Brexit party, that is a clue something is wrong with our strategy. We need to listen to our members and take a clearer line on a public vote.

"We should be careful not to interpret this as a mandate for no deal," according to Sam Gyimah, the former universities minister who resigned over Brexit.

Tough election for @Conservatives, and we need to rapidly find a way forward. With 34.9% of voters voting for hard Brexit in a low turnout election (compared to the GE and referendum), we should be careful not to interpret this as a mandate for No Deal. #EUelections2019

Clear lesson from these results. The Withdrawal Agreement is dead as the @Conservatives were the only Party promoting it. The UK must now leave the EU by 31st October, ideally with an FTA agreed in principle but, if necessary on WTO terms with practical side deals already agreed. pic.twitter.com/UaayHjQQEy

A new Prime Minister should say to the EU we will leave immediately, offering free trade talks on exit. Lets have a Brexit budget to boost our economy with tax cuts and increased spending on public services from all the money we save. 3 times now the voters have voted to leave.

Many congratulations to Annunziata on her amazing result. The message is clear Brexit must be delivered with or without a deal on 31st October. No more equivocation.

When the former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis announced he would compete for a seat in the European parliament not in his native Greece but in Germany, it had promised to turn the conventions of European politics on their head.
His party, DiEM25, ran with a pan-European list of Greek, Austrian and Croatian candidates, and proposed eye-catching ideas such as livestreaming European summits and meetings of the European Central Bank. Varoufakis's mission, he said, was nothing less than to "democratise Europe".

Green parties in Germany, France, Britain and elsewhere in the European Union are celebrating big gains in elections for the bloc's 751-seat parliament amid growing voter concerns over climate change.
Provisional results early Monday showed the Greens' bloc coming fourth in the election with 70 seats, an increase of 18 compared with 2014.

Steve Baker, deputy chair of the European Research Group of hard-Brexit MPs, warned that the Conservatives faced "obliteration" if the the UK did not leave the EU now.
Speaking to BBC News he said: "This is the worst result we have ever had in the history of the Conservative party. It is a grave time for our party and our country. I'm not surprised that it as bad as it is. You just can't break promises you've made like this and expect to go unpunished."

A big intervention from the shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, on Labour's Brexit policy. All eyes on Jeremy Corbyn.

Can't hide from hit we took last night.Bringing people together when there's such a divide was never going to be easy. Now we face prospect of Brexiteer extremist as Tory leader & threat of no deal, we must unite our party & country by taking issue back to people in a public vote

Hugely disappointing results - but this is a verdict on our delivery of Brexit. There's a clear lesson: people want us to get on with it. Not another election or referendum asking if changed their mind. We'll need to unite as a party to deliver that. There are no other options

Some early reaction to the European election results from Scottish politicians. The SNP's deputy Westminster leader, Kirsty Blackman, said her party's highest-ever EU vote at 38% "shows that Scotland is rejecting Brexit" on Radio Scotland's Good Morning Scotland.
The Scottish Labour MSP Claudia Beamish insisted on the same programme that her party's collapse in support at the EU polls should not mean its leader, Richard Leonard, considers his position: "We did have a nuanced message which was complex and we are reflecting on that, but I am absolutely clear that Richard Leonard is the right person to lead us."

The Lib Dem deputy leader, Jo Swinson, has said Labour needs to clarify its Brexit policy after last night's European elections. She told the BBC:
Clearly Labour has had an atrocious night and absolutely needs to get off the Brexit fence.
I spoke to so many former Labour voters, people in some cases who had voted Labour their entire lives, who voted Liberal Democrat for the first time on Thursday.

Responding to Nigel Farage's claim that pro-leave parties had won the election, the Green party MP, Caroline Lucas, told BBC Radio 4:
I don't think that's right, I think the Brexit party got about 35% of the vote and the strongly remain parties got about 40% of the vote. So either way you look at it, the Brexit party has got nothing like the 17 million they had before. The point is let's just try and rule out the kind of terrifying vision for this country of no deal, that literally should go.

The shadow justice secretary, Richard Burgon, has defended Labour's strategy in the European elections despite admitting "it was never going to work".
He told ITV's Good Morning Britain:
I think the message of trying to bring people together who voted remain or leave is the right message.
It was never going to work in this kind of low-turnout EU election where the people most interested in this important issue of Brexit, whether it is to remain or leave, came out to vote. A general election would be very different.

Very hard to stomach Euro results but have to put on record that responsibility lies in Westminster, not with conscientious Con MEPs like @Ashleyfoxmep and his team. Wonderful silver lining my brilliant and inspirational friend @dhannanMP held on.

Pedro Sánchez's face said it all last night, writes Sam Jones in Madrid.
The socialist leader and acting prime minister was beaming as it became clear that his party had scored an emphatic win and built on its success in last month's general election.

The Brexit party leader, Nigel Farage, has been speaking about his party's success in the European elections, pledging to develop a general election manifesto and compete for seats in the UK parliament. On suggestions that remain parties outperformed the Brexit party on aggregate, he told the BBC:
If you go round the country, it's about 52-48. We're pretty much where we were three years ago. Things haven't changed. People haven't changed their minds. Actually, that referendum was won by a clear majority of 1.3 million. In a democracy, it's the majority that wins. The problem we've got is that for democracy to really function properly, you need the loser's consent and it's pretty clear that the remain parties still don't accept Brexit. These battles will go on.
We couldn't have been clearer. The next date is 31 October. That will become as big a day in people's minds as 29 March. All I can say is this: if we don't leave on 31 October, you can expect to see the Brexit party's success last night continue into the general election.

Spain's acting prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was one of the big winners of the night and now holds considerable sway in the centre-left bloc. He will travel to Paris today to dine with Emmanuel Macron to analyse the election results and discuss the allocation of posts. This could be the start of Spain's push to raise its profile and have a greater in European matters.

Official overall results Monday from France's European voting show the parties were so close that they will both have 23 seats in the European Union legislature.
However, Marine Le Pen's nationalist, anti-immigration National Rally party is set to gain one seat when Britain leaves the EU and the Parliament reapportions its seats.

The MP for Tottenham has called for Labour to hold a ballot of the party's members or a special conference to settle its Brexit policy.
David Lammy told Radio 4:
Labour should get its act together. We tried to ride two horses. We fell flat on our faces, basically, with our face pressed against the pavement. That's what happened. It is now clear that the electorate is now polarised, still, along leave and remain. That there is a surge of support for those who want no deal, and there is an absolute surge for those who want a confirmatory vote. And in this election, we have resuscitated the Liberal Democrats, we have handed votes to the Greens, and I have to say, very, very worryingly, we have facilitated Nigel Farage's Brexit party because in the system of elections in the European elections, the largest parties always do well unless your policy is not clear.
We lacked clarity in this election. There were too many voters who were in tears because they wanted to vote Labour, had historically voted Labour, but felt that they had to lend their votes to the Liberal Democrats. And we now will need either an all-member ballot of our position on this subject, or a special conference. But we simply cannot go on with this mealy mouthed approach to a confirmatory vote and a situation in which the leader says one thing, once pushed, and then his spokesman on these issues issues some sort of retraction. It simply cannot go on like that. It's too important.
We are hiding on the biggest issue of the day. In this election we put out poor literature, it was badly financed on the Labour side, we were cutting off the knees of some of our candidates. Our activists did not want to come out for us. We had Labour members who did not feel able to vote Labour. It was shocking. It was the worst that I've seen in my 20 years in politics. We have to get a grip.

In Italy, the latest results put the League at 34.4%, the Democratic party at 22.73% and the Five Star Movement at 17.05%.

With so many elements to pull together from the election, Politico has helpfully done a guide to what's happened in five graphs:

Here's a helpful graph on EU elections turnout by country from @politico pic.twitter.com/UtiyeKt7dm

Here's a helpful graph on EU elections on the Eurosceptic vote by country from @politico pic.twitter.com/wjA7dZaxFC

Alastair Campbell is also up early tweeting his thoughts about the European elections. He writes that "facing both ways has proven to be a total disaster" for Labour, but the party could win over the country by backing a second referendum.

In campaigning for a @peoplesvote_uk fighting to do the right thing for the future and showing some leadership @uklabour could win over the country. Facing both ways has proven to be a total disaster as was evident from the get go https://t.co/C6xiaXR8zx

France's Le Monde draws on the big showing of Marine Le Pen's party, who won the most seats, ahead of Emanuel Macron's party. "The extreme right comes first in France, Italy and the UK," is its headline. Le Figaro says: "Macron sets up duel with Le Pen." The leftist Libération puts a different spin on the result. It carries a poster-style front page with a picture of the leader of the Europe Écologie-Les Verts (EELV) green list, Yannick Jadot, with the headline: "La croissance Verte," or "The rise of the Greens."

Libération hails 'The rise of the Greens' across Europe with its poster front page of French Greens leader Yannick Jadot. pic.twitter.com/5EsczdVodV

Some front pages from European papers today. Here's Süddeutsche Zeitung leading it's e-paper with news that the Greens are the second biggest party in Germany for the first time .... pic.twitter.com/GAEgkKf78J

Ya está disponible la primera edición de ABC del lunes 27 de mayo en @abckioskoymas https://t.co/wkY7dOgQRB pic.twitter.com/Wdr6j1MKYO
Related: 'Troubled times': what European papers say about the election results

The fact that Europe's pro-EU parties didn't suffer a complete collapse at the polls has seen the euro hold firm in overnight trading in Asia. The single currency is sitting at $1.1211, near its highest levels for more than a week and a recovery from a two-year low of $1.11055 on Thursday.

The #euro was little changed versus its major peers on Monday immediately following the results of European parliamentary elections, which indicated that pro-EU parties had largely held their ground - FT.

It might be early on a bank holiday Monday in the UK, but the battle to claim last night's results as a victory for remain or leave has started. Just before 6am, arch-Brexiteer John Redwood tweeted that the big Brexit party win "must be a wake up call to parliament".

The dreadful Conservative election result is a decisive rejection of Mrs May's Withdrawal Treaty. Only the Conservatives offered the draft Treaty. Anyone wanting it would have voted Conservative.

The big Brexit party win must be a wake up call to Parliament. Get us out of the EU immediately with no Withdrawal Treaty lock in.

Here's a graph (below) that will give those at Conservative party headquarters nightmares. The party has crashed to its lowest share of the vote in nearly 200 years.

The Conservative Party has slumped to its lowest national vote share since it was formed in 1834, gaining just 8.8% of the vote with 10/12 regions declared #EuropeanElectionResults pic.twitter.com/QKsSFzYphH

There are many, many threads you can pull out from these European elections, but I thought it would be useful to try to dissect the biggest trends.
The centre-left and centre-right blocks are the biggest losers. They will no longer hold a majority in parliament. The current projection from the European parliament is that, between them, those blocks will end up with a total of 329 seats out of 751.

The former Tory party MP, Ann Widdecombe, has won a seat for the Brexit party in the South West of England. Widdecombe said:
It's very clear … there was only ever one reason for voting for the Brexit party – and that is what the nation has done, big time. What this does is send a very clear message to Westminster – again – that if they don't sort out leave, at the next general election both the big parties are going to face carnage. We shouldn't even be having these elections. These elections are a clear demonstration of the farce that has enveloped Westminster. I want a clean Brexit and that is where we have to put our pressure.

The short answer is that the big parties seriously sank in this poll. As David Hughes from the Press Association points out, in the 2017 general election, the Conservatives and Labour between them took 82% of the vote. In these European elections, in England and Wales, they took just over a quarter of that (24%). If that doesn't prompt some soul searching, nothing will.

In the 2017 general election, the Conservatives and Labour took an 82% combined share of the vote. In the Euro elections they managed 24% in England and Wales. pic.twitter.com/sCsEwy0JEv

You won't be surprised to know that Nigel Farage is on the front pages of many of today's UK papers.
The Guardian's headline is: "Tories and Labour savaged as voters take revenge over Brexit".

The @guardian front page, Monday 27 May #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/rFFs0Bdf2z

Monday's TIMES (2nd edition): "Farage surge sends main parties into meltdown" #bbcpapers #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/3C0EYFyGS0

DAILY MAIL: Farage plunges dagger....Knives out for Boris #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/2YUTzfB4C8

The front page of tomorrow's Daily Telegraph: '#Farage humiliates Tories in EU poll' #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/k5t451u7A5

EXPRESS: NOW give us the Brexit we voted for #tomorrowspaperstoday pic.twitter.com/zCCDSKGYaL
Related: Knives, daggers and hammers: what the UK papers say about the EU election results

The Liberal Democrats have gone from zero to hero in the capital, winning three out of the seven seats. The Brexit party took two, the Greens one and Labour two (losing two). The Conservatives lost all of their three seats. But if you dig down into the results, there are some interesting figures. In Kensington and Chelsea, the Conservative party was relegated to fourth spot behind Labour.

Kensington & Chelsea (London) result:

LDem: 36.0% (+29.4)
Brex: 17.2% (+17.2)
Lab: 13.9% (-8.0)
Con: 13.3% (-28.8)
Grn: 9.0% (+0.9)
UKIP: 1.3% (-13.4)

It's probably not that surprising, but people living in Gibraltar seem overwhelmingly to have backed the Liberal Democrats. In Gibraltar (South West), 77% voted for the Lib Dems, with the Brexit party coming in a distant second on just 8%.

Gibraltar (South West) result:

LDem: 77.4% (+10.2)
Brex: 8.0% (+8.0)
Grn: 5.0% (+3.8)
Lab: 4.4% (-4.8)
Con: 2.7% (-14.5)
UKIP: 0.9% (-3.1)

There are many ways to look at the results of this European election – via country results, what they mean for the political groupings in the parliament, and how they feed into different ideologies (populist, green, liberal etc). But here's something fairly stark. If you look at which parties now have the most seats in the parliament, Nigel Farage's Brexit party and Angela Merkel's CDU-CSU coalition both look set to win 29 seats, giving them more seats than anyone else in parliament. The next biggest party is Matteo Salvini's Lega Nord on 28 seats.

For those interested in the fate of Ukip tonight, these elections were a disaster for the party. It lost all of its MEPs despite topping the voting figures in 2014. Much of that support has probably gone to the Brexit party, which came top of the polls in England and Wales, picking up 28 MEPs.
Ukip's leader, Gerard Batten, lost his seat in London, which he had held since 2004. The party's controversial YouTuber candidate Carl Benjamin, who was second on the party's South West regional list, also failed to get elected. Benjamin was condemned during the campaign for comments he made about raping the Labour MP Jess Phillips.

In case you missed this or are just logging on to this live blog, it's worth looking at this graphic below, that shows, with 99% of the vote counted in the UK, remain parties have taken 40.4% of the vote, while hard Brexit parties have taken 34.9% and the Conservatives and Labour have taken 23.2% between them.

UK: 99% counted.

Remain parties: 40.4%
Hard Brexit parties: 34.9%
Conservatives/Labour: 23.2%#EP2019 #Brexit #EuropeanElections2019 #EUelections2019 pic.twitter.com/D9CgBtYmNd

With so many results coming in tonight, and so many parties and coalitions to get your head around, Reuters has published a useful overview:
Parties committed to strengthening the European Union held on to two-thirds of seats in the EU parliament, official projections from the bloc's elections showed on Sunday, though far-right and nationalist opponents saw strong gains. France's Emmanuel Macron, who has staked his presidency on persuading Europeans that the EU is the answer to the challenges of an uncertain, globalising world economy, took a personal hit when his centrist movement was edged into second place by Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-Brussels National Rally. But Macron's Renaissance, built on the ruins of centre-left and centre-right parties, added to gains for liberals at the EU level as turnout bounced sharply across the bloc. Along with a surge for the Greens, that meant four groups occupying the pro-EU middle ground lost under 20 seats, securing 505 seats out of 751, according to a projection by the European parliament. That may complicate some policymaking, as a two-party "grand coalition" of the conservative European People's Party (EPP) and the Socialists (S&D) no longer has a majority. The liberals, with over 100 seats, and Greens, with nearly 70, want a big say. But it also dents the hopes of Le Pen, the Italian deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, and others who have been seeking to disrupt attempts to forge closer EU integration. Salvini called the elections a mandate for a shake-up in Brussels. But tensions among nationalists, who also include the Polish and Hungarian ruling parties and the new Brexit party of the British campaigner Nigel Farage, have limited their impact on policy. "The big thing is that the gains for the extremists were not very substantial," Guntram Wolff, head of the Bruegel economics thinktank in Brussels, said. Luxembourg's liberal prime minister, Xavier Bettel, tweeted: "Europe wins! Voter turnout very high and pro-European parties are strongest."

Related: EU elections: Tories and Labour savaged as voters take Brexit revenge
Related: Five things we have learned from UK's Europe elections

We knew this would be a difficult night for @Conservatives - people want us to deliver Brexit as quickly as possible. We must. Thank you to all our brilliant hard working candidates.
Shocking results for Labour, going backwards after 9 years in opposition.

While Farage managed to avoid controversy for most of the night, slipping into the count through a backdoor, a row erupted between the Greens and Brexit Party members after the victory speeches had been made.

Tom Druitt, husband of newly-elected Green MEP for the region, Alexandra Phillips – and a Brighton Green councillor himself – stood on a chair in the Civic Centre and condemned Farage for making "this country an international joke."

Shortly after Jeremy Corbyn hinted at supporting a second referendum, the shadow international trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, urged the government to call a general election after the Conservatives select a new leader.

Given the Conservative party's results tonight, it cannot be right that a new Conservative Leader should not face a general election.

Tonight sees the Tories worst performance since 1832. Looks like we go back to the same share of the vote as we had in 2009.
We tried to bridge the gap between No Deal Leavers and Remainers by a compromise deal and suffered for trying to unite a country entrenched. pic.twitter.com/Le0SlTlQQ6

Here is a look at the projected overall results, from @EuropeElects. Here are some of the headlines to take note of:
The Greens/EFA block has had a big boost. It looks set to increase its seats by 50% in the parliament from 50 in 2014 to 75 seats.

EU28: Ladies and gentlemen, the new European Parliament!

Details: https://t.co/JaP0MTYOBR
(based on the results of the BBC, the European Parliament website, and based on our research of the future group affiliation of "new" parties entering the European Parliament). #EP2019 pic.twitter.com/WSMfdSRkuB

Siân Berry, the co-leader of the Green party in England and Wales, has said "the people have spoken" and voters should be given the chance to choose between remaining in the EU and leaving under a deal agreed with the EU.
Giving the people the final say over the country's direction is now clearly the only way forward, the way to draw a line under the Brexit chaos. The vote tally for clearly remain parties is higher than for that of the Brexit party and Ukip. The people have spoken.
We are in a state of political crisis in the UK. But to understand that we need to look at the causes of the anger and frustration in leave-majority areas, Westminster austerity, our archaic Victorian voting system, and the concentration of power in London.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European parliament's Brexit coordinator, has welcomed the new delegation of Lib Dem MEPs, saying that together they will fight for a better Europe.

Amazing result for the @LibDems. Congratualtions to @vincecable. I look forward to welcoming a big delegation of pro-European Lib Dem MEPs to the European Parliament. Together we will fight for a better Europe!

UK: 99% counted.

Remain parties: 40.4%
Hard Brexit parties: 34.9%
Conservatives/Labour: 23.2%#EP2019 #Brexit #EuropeanElections2019 #EUelections2019 pic.twitter.com/D9CgBtYmNd

The Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has released a statement suggesting once again that the party may shift towards supporting a second referendum:
After three years of Tory failure to deliver a Brexit that works for the whole country, these elections became a proxy second referendum.
With the Conservatives disintegrating and unable to govern, and parliament deadlocked, this issue will have to go back to the people, whether through a general election or a public vote. Labour will bring our divided country together so we can end austerity and tackle inequality.

With Matteo Salvini's anti-immigrant League party winning most of the votes, it will strengthen his grip on government, particularly as its coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, was beaten by a resurgent centre-left Democratic party.
"A new Europe is born. I am proud that the League is participating in this new European renaissance," he said in Milan, adding: "I ask for an acceleration on the government programme."

Una sola parola: GRAZIE Italia! pic.twitter.com/PEmaNvCpNJ

Nigel Farage has reiterated his demand for the Brexit party to be part of the team negotiating the UK's exit from the EU.
"At the end of the day it's about what voters want. I think either the Conservatives and Labour parties take us towards Brexit or they are going to have to be replaced, it's as simple as that," he said.

The Green party MP, Caroline Lucas, has declared the first-past-the-post voting system as broken.
Describing an electoral system which at general elections favours the larger parties at the expense of smaller groups, Lucas said: "I think one of the lessons of tonight's results overall is that the first-past-the-post voting system is broken," she told reporters in Southampton. The EU elections use a proportional method to choose MEPs.

As we've been reporting, Italy's governing far-right League party has done very well in these elections.
We are now getting some detailed projections from different regions, including the north-west, where the party has strong support. @EuropeElects is projecting it will win 41% of votes in the north-west region.

Italy Northwest region, SWG Projection:

PD-S&D: 23.4%
M5S-EFDD: 11.5%
FI-EPP: 8.4%
FdI-ECR: 5.6%#EP2019 #ElezioniEuropee

Vince Cable, the outgoing Liberal Democrat leader, has declared the party is the "strongest voice of remain" after its surprisingly impressive performance tonight.

A clear, honest, unambiguous message has won @libdems our best ever European election result. We have shown ourselves as the strongest Remain force in British politics. Thank you to everyone who put their faith in us. We will stand up for you and keep campaigning to #StopBrexit.

A brilliant set of EU results so far for the @LibDems. Making gains around the country with some really impressive swings in many seats.

Proof that the Lib Dems are the biggest, strongest voice of Remain #StopBrexit

Daniel Hannan, one of the the Conservatives' most prominent MEPs, has told the BBC that Brexit will polarise a large section of the electorate until the UK leaves the European Union.
I think we've done a lot worse than we did in 1832, I think in terms of national vote share we ... this is our worst ever result. You don't need to be a psephologist to understand why, you don't need all those clever experts and gizmos you've got in the studio ... we voted to leave and we haven't left yet, it's that simple and as long as that is the case you will have a chunk of the electorate that is polarised and is effectively going to vote for the single-issue pro- and anti-Brexit parties.

Good morning, this is Alison Rourke taking over Jennifer Rankin's part of the live blog on the European elections.

Jennifer might have left the blog but has just tweeted a very handy look at turnout across the continent.

Two useful turnout graphs h/t @Europarl_EN
▶️ Slovakia still had lowest, but up 9 % pts
▶️Biggest increases, Spain, Poland, Romania, Hungary
▶️ Meagre increase UK turnout despite Brexit
▶️As last time, 10% Belgian voters ready to risk a fine for not voting (its compulsory). pic.twitter.com/OKVGcB73Kk

The state of the parties after 10 constituency results out of 12 in the UK, with Scotland and Northern Ireland still to report.
The Brexit party has won in every region except London, while the Lib Dems recorded their best ever EU election result, and the Greens registered their most successful showing.
Related: European election latest results 2019: across the UK

The Change UK leader Heidi Allen, has said that if Boris Johnson or another no-deal Brexiter becomes Tory leader there could be more Conservative MPs who break away from her former party.

She said there were also many angry Labour MPs who wanted their leader, Jeremy Corbyn, to back another referendum. "If the Tories elect Boris Johnson, or someone who wants no deal, that could see some moderate remain Tories break away," she said.

Results have flooded in and we have a partial, but accurate picture of what has happened in the 2019 European parliament elections across all 28 member states.
Here is a summary of where things stand at 00.35 BST:

North West, vote share:

Brex: 31.2% (+31.2)
Lab: 21.9% (-12.0)
LDem: 17.1% (+11.1)
Grn: 12.5% (+5.5)
Con: 7.6% (-12.5)
UKIP: 3.6% (-23.9)
The Brexit party won three out of eight seats in the region, getting a resounding 31.2% of the vote, as Labour and the Conservatives suffered significant losses.

Nigel Farage has warned that if the UK does not leave the EU by the end of October, then the main parties will continue to suffer losses at the ballot boxes.
"Never before in British politics has a new party, launched six weeks ago, topped the polls in a national election," he said in Southampton after retaining his seat, albeit for a different party.

South East, vote share:

Brex: 36.1% (+36.1)
LDem: 25.7% (+17.7)
Grn: 13.5% (+4.4)
Con: 10.3% (-20.6)
Lab: 7.3% (-7.4)
ChUK: 4.2% (+4.2)
UKIP: 2.2% (-29.9)

Startling results.

The Brexit party chairman and newly elected MEP, Richard Tice, said the success of his party showed millions of people wanted a no-deal Brexit.
Speaking to the Press Association after the eastern England results, he said: "We are incredibly humbled by the fact that millions of others across the country are backing our simple message to restore trust in democracy, and are sending a clear message back to Westminster that we want a WTO Brexit."
We need strong, bold leadership and we need the Brexit party MEPs to play a significant role in the negotiations. What's so important now is we come in and help the government quickly because it is in paralysis and is navel gazing about who should be the next leader.
We have already seen in British politics manifestos have become completely discredited. We will put forward some policies. We are going to reach out to our registered supporters and have a conversation with the country to make sure that we know exactly the main things that are concerning people.

Despite an abysmal evening for the Conservatives, the current south-east MEP, Nirj Deva, has said he was "not at all" concerned by the Brexit party as it was "a one issue party".
"They have no national programme, they have no national ethos," he said. "What are they going to do on the NHS? What is their policy on transport? What is their policy on social housing or the green belt?

A pro-EU coalition linked to the president-elect, Zuzana Čaputová, has won tin Slovakia.
The coalition, Progressive Slovakia/Together, received 20.1 % of the vote, gaining four seats in the European legislature, according to final results released by the Slovak statistics office.

Viktor Orbán's far-right, anti-immigration Fidesz party has won big at home, with 52% of the vote and 13 of Hungary's 21 seats, but it may find itself more isolated than it had hoped in the new European parliament. Some far-right parties showed modest gains, but others have done worse than expected.
However, Orbán claimed the elections showed a wave of nationalist gains. He spoke to a crowd outside "the Whale", the Fidesz campaign headquarters in Budapest on the Danube. "We are small but we want to change Europe," he said, describing the elections as "the beginning of a new era against migration".

Until now, after European elections, the puzzle was quite simple, the EPP and the socialists came together, counted the votes and there was a comfortable majority … Now nobody is able to say what the final composition of the majority will look like.

There were embarrassing defeats for both Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May in their respective constituencies of Islington and Maidenhead.
The Lib Dems took Islington, where the other MP is the shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, with 27.5% of the vote, an 18.6 percentage point increase, squeezing ahead of Labour, whose vote plummeted by 21.2 percentage points to 26.3%. It was one of many London boroughs where Vince Cable's party capitalised on voters' dismay at Corbyn's refusal to unequivocally offer a second referendum.

Tom Watson, Labour's deputy leader, has tweeted a link to a survey on his website, asking members how the party should agree a new Brexit policy.

Following the disastrous EU election results, Labour urgently needs to re-think its Brexit position and realign with members and voters. For Britain's sake, we must find our voice and fast. I want to hear from members and supporters in this survey... https://t.co/RYSct3SAkJ

With more than 98% of the vote counted, Spain's ruling socialist party (PSOE) has won an emphatic victory, taking 20 seats and 32.8% of the vote less than a month after finishing first in the general election.

Lord Heseltine, the former Conservative deputy prime minister, has confirmed he voted for the Liberal Democrats, after he was suspended by the Tories earlier this month for declaring he would not vote for the party.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Heseltine said: "I did what I believed to be in the national interest, and it fulfilled a warning that I gave to my party many months ago that the Lib Dems would take a significant number of Conservative votes, which they have done."

Yorkshire & Humber, vote share:

Brex: 36.5% (+36.5)
Lab: 16.3% (-13.0)
LDem: 15.5% (+9.2)
Grn: 13.0% (+5.1)
Con: 7.2% (-12.0)
UKIP: 4.4% (-26.7)
York: 3.9% (+2.4)
ChUK: 2.3% (+2.3)
That's three MEPs for the Brexit party, one each for the Liberal Democrats, Labour and the Greens, who return Magid Magid, the former lord mayor of Sheffield.

We've not yet had the official results from the north-west, but Tommy Robinson has already declared defeat and left the building. The anti-Islam activist left the count in Manchester minutes after it emerged he had secured just 2% of the city's vote, with expectations that he will do only marginally better when the north-west vote is declared in the next hour.
While journalists were busy reporting on the Manchester result, Robinson slunk away and handed in his pass on the way out. "It doesn't look like he's coming back," said one election official.

Slightly belatedly, here's the result for the Manchester count area (not the north-west region): Labour top with 37.1%, then Lib Dems (19.5%), Greens (18.5%), Brexit party (13.9%)... Tommy Robinson: 2%. pic.twitter.com/ZmnLzxYTbV

West Midlands, vote share:

Brex: 37.7% (+37.7)
Lab: 16.9% (-9.8)
LDem: 16.3% (+10.7)
Grn: 10.7% (+5.4)
Con: 10.0% (-14.3)
UKIP: 5.0% (-26.5)
ChUK: 3.4% (+3.4)

Wales, vote share:

Brex: 32.5% (+32.5)
PC: 19.6% (+4.3)
Lab: 15.3% (-12.8)
LDem: 13.6% (+9.7)
Con: 6.5% (-10.9)
Grn: 6.3% (+1.8)
UKIP: 3.3% (-24.3)

The results are only half complete, but in Brussels the big political groups are already jostling for position in the race for the EU's top jobs.

The centre-right European People's party and the Socialists & Democrats have lost seats. Both groups – transnational blocs of parties – have a lead candidate who is seeking to lead the next European commission.

Once again my offer is on the table: let's sit together the progressive forces in the parliament that will prepare Europe for the years to come.
The monopoly of power is broken.

"I voted Liberal Democrat," said Alistair Campbell, Labour party veteran and Tony Blair's former press secretary, when asked how he voted on the BBC.
I didn't vote Labour for the first time in my life and it was a very, very strange feeling. But I just felt on this issue, at this time, the Labour party has let its own supporters down, it has let its own members down and I think it has let the country down in the way that it has failed properly to devise a policy that the country and the party could unite around, and the way that it failed to campaign.

The Scottish National party has carved out a healthy and substantial lead after the first 14 Scottish councils released their results, taking 38.1% of the vote – nearly 10 points higher than their 28.9% total in 2014.
SNP officials still believe they will win two seats, rather than the three projected by some polls, but the early results for Labour are dire – far below the 13 to 20% forecast by the polls.

The results for London are in.

Those East of England results are obviously good for the Brexit party but previously Ukip and the Conservatives held three each, and Labour held one, whereas this time three seats have gone to anti-Brexit parties.

East of England, seat allocation:

Brex: 3 MEPs
LDem: 2
Grn: 1
Con: 1

Turnout across all 28 member states, including the UK, has risen to 50.5%, the European parliament has announced.
This is 8 percentage points higher than in 2014.
The European citizens realised that the European Union is part of their everyday reality and future. This time they voted.

The Lib Dems "Bollocks to Brexit" slogan is paying dividends in London. In Kensington and Chelsea its vote has gone up almost 30%, putting it in first place.

Kensington & Chelsea (London) result:

LDem: 36.0% (+29.4)
Brex: 17.2% (+17.2)
Lab: 13.9% (-8.0)
Con: 13.3% (-28.8)
Grn: 9.0% (+0.9)
UKIP: 1.3% (-13.4)

Haringey (London) result:

LDem: 31.7% (+20.2)
Lab: 30.7% (-17.7)
Grn: 18.6% (+3.4)
Brex: 7.6% (+7.6)
Con: 3.2% (-8.1)
UKIP: 1.0% (-6.1)

Islington (London) result:

LDem: 27.5% (+18.6)
Lab: 26.3% (-21.2)
Grn: 18.1% (+2.4)
Brex: 9.0% (+9.0)
ChUK: 5.2% (+5.2)
Con: 2.3% (-9.2)

The Brexit party has won three more seats while the Greens, Lib Dems and Conservatives have their first seat(s) of the night:

East of England, seat allocation:

Brex: 3 MEPs
LDem: 2
Grn: 1
Con: 1

The Green party has made gains in the south-east, largely beating Labour into fourth place so far, with the Brexit party victorious and the Liberal Democrats in fourth – leaving the governing Conservative party in fifth place.

Speaking at Southampton Civic Centre, Caroline Lucas the MP for Brighton and Hove, described the results as "incredible" and indicative of "a Green wave across Europe." She added that it was clear voters wanted "action not just inside the EU" but also on the "climate".
The Green Wave has swept across Europe. We want to thank everyone who has voted for change and climate action. Green parties have exceeded expectations in countries such as Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, Finland and Austria and will play an ever more important role in shaping the political debate across Europe over the coming years. This trust given to us by voters is both a task and a responsibility to put green polices into action.

Viktor Orbán's ruling Fidesz party has won 13 of Hungary's 21 seats in the European parliament, one seat more than in the 2014 vote.
As Reuters reports, with 99.9% of the votes counted on Sunday evening, the former Socialist prime minister Ferenc Gyurcsany's Democratic Coalition had won four seats and the liberal Momentum Movement captured two seats.

The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, has criticised Labour's election strategy.
Appearing on the BBC's election coverage, she said:
We went into an election where the most important issue was: what was our view on leaving the EU? And we were not clear about it. We were not clear on the one single thing that people wanted to hear.
We should have said quite simply that any deal that comes out of this government should be put to a confirmatory referendum, and that remain should be on the ballot paper, and that Labour would campaign to remain. I think that we will, after these elections, need to look very carefully at why it is that we got this result.

The Liberal Democracts are certainly the cheeriest party in Manchester. They think they've won two seats of the eight seats in the north-west, with Labour and the Brexit party are thought to have got two apiece. The Tories are believed to have lost a seat, leaving them with one, while the Greens are thought to have taken the final seat.
"It looks like it's been a very good night," said Jackie Pearcey, the Lib Dems' north-west chair, who was a councillor in Manchester for 21 years, adding that the party now had more members than she could recall in the party's history. "In the north-west it shows that we're back and we're on the road to recovery."

Tommy Robinson complains he's lost because he's banned from most social media #EuropeanElections2019 pic.twitter.com/tkR4JGvzcx

The Brexit party has taken over 50% in two areas where the Tories have suffered a double-digit fall in percentage points.

South Staffordshire (West Midlands) result:

Brex: 50.1% (+50.1)
Con: 13.3% (-19.8)
LDem: 12.8% (+10.2)
Grn: 8.6% (+5.3)
Lab: 5.8% (-7.6)
UKIP: 5.5% (-35.2)

North East Lincolnshire (Yorkshire & the Humber) result:

Brex: 51.9% (+51.9)
Lab: 10.6% (-12.2)
Con: 9.9% (-11.4)
LDem: 9.0% (+4.5)
Grn: 7.3% (+2.5)
UKIP: 6.9% (-34.3)

Italy's governing far-right League party has applauded a breakthrough that has taken it to the top of the European parliament polls.
Exit polls show that the League has won between 27% and 31% of the vote, up from 6.16% in 2014.

Labour have topped the poll in Leicester, which voted Remain in the referendum, replicating the party's result in the 2014 election.
Voting for the main parties was: Labour 33,449, Brexit 11,467, Conservatives 5,270, Lib Dem 10,330, Green 6,503, Ukip 2,201, Change UK 1,609.

Apart from London, where Sutton (Lib Dems), Redbridge (Labour) and Harrow (Labour) have also announced results, only one area out of the 25 to have announced so far has had a party other than the Brexit party finish first. That is Bath and North East Somerset, where the Lib Dems got the largest share of the vote (35%) and Labour got just 5.4%.

As results around the country begin to come in, Nigel Farage's Brexit party is set to sweep to victory, with the Conservatives expected to win around 10% of the vote, according to a BBC projection.
The BBC has forecast that the Brexit Party will top the polls, with the pro-EU Liberal Democrats set to come second and the ruling Conservative party set to receive between 10 and 12% of the vote, down from 24% in 2014.

It's a wrap! Counting in the South East is over. Nigel Farage quietly snuck in through a back entrance at Southampton Civic Centre a short while ago #EUelections2019 pic.twitter.com/KCEd7a4Iz8

The north-east is the first region to declare:

North East, result:

Brex: 2 MEPs (+2)
Lab: 1 (-1)

The Scottish Labour party vote has crashed in the first four Scottish council areas to report results, with the Scottish National party showing the jump in support predicted by the opinion polls. Many analysts had forecast that Scottish voters would desert Labour for firmly pro-remain parties such as the SNP, the Lib Dems or Greens.
Labour's support in East Ayrshire fell by about 20 points, down to 12.9%, while in Renfrewshire it fell by 23 points to 13.2% and in East Dunbartonshire it was down 23 to 15.9%. That suggests Labour will only just hold on to one of its two MEPs.

The Brexit party came first in 13 of the first areas (not regions) to declare, with over 40% of the vote in five of those. The list is Corby (east Midlands), Folkestone & Hythe (south-east), Telford & Wrekin (West Midlands), Rugby (West Midlands), Southend (east of England), Sheffield (Yorkshire and the Humber), Newcastle upon Tyne (north-east), Durham (north-east), Wolverhampton (West Midlands), Wrexham (Wales), Cardiff (Wales), Pembrokeshire (Wales), and Sandwell (West Midlands).
The exception is Croydon in London, where Labour came first by a whisker.

Matteo Salvini's far-right League party is on course to come top in Italy's European elections, according to exit polls released shortly after voting ended.
Salvini's coalition partner, the Five Star Movement, is left fighting the Socialist party for second place.

Italy: Record high for LEGA-ENF/EAPN in Opinio exit poll, getting 27-31% of the vote

Italy, SWG exit poll:

LEGA-ENF: 27-30%
PD-S&D: 22.5-24.5%
M5S-EFDD: 21.5-23.5%
FI-EPP: 9-11%
FdI-ECR: 5-6%#ElezioniEuropee #ElezioniEuropee2019 #EP2019

Councils in some areas have reported increased turnouts at this year's European elections compared with 2014.
The turnout in Wales is up five percentage points on 2014 – 37.3% against 32% in the previous poll. However, the turnout for Northern Ireland, at 45.1%, is down from 51% in 2014, as voter apathy apparently takes hold in a nation still without a devolved government amid deadlock between the two main parties.

The Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, has called snap elections after his leftist Syriza party lost seats in the European elections.
With the centre right New Democracy opposition party on course to enjoy a 9.3% lead in European elections tonight, the leftist leader admitted the result fell short of expectations.
There are two roads, the one of the many, or the one of renewed austerity.
It is up to the Greek people to decide.

Helen Pidd, the Guardian's north of England editor, is at the count in Sunderland for the north-east and has spoken to the Brexit party's lead candidate for the region, Brian Monteith.
He was a Conservative member of the Scottish parliament between 1999 and 2007, as well as a columnist for the Scotsman. Remarkably, he gave his address as being in Trevien, southern France, when he submitted his candidacy.
I will certainly consider it ... This is not like any other election. It's not like a council election, about fixing the pavements, it's not about the Scottish parliament or Westminster election, about fixing potholes in the street or creating laws. It's about the European parliament election, which shouldn't be taking place, and which I would rather were not taking place. It's about making a statement to the British government, providing a voice to the people to send a message. So as long as I am a good communicator, a good campaigner, a good writer, which is my profession, then being located in, say, Gateshead or Durham, which are places I know well, is not a crucial point. Were it a different kind of election I would consider it more important.

Three polls in Portugal suggest the governing Socialist party is on course for victory, winning eight or nine seats, followed by the conservative Social Democratic party with five to seven and the Left Bloc with two to three.
The green People-Animals-Nature party looks set to win its first seat.

Portugal: Green party PAN (Greens/EFA) entering European Parliament comes as a surprise as no pollster and no projection predicted this. #EP2019 #Europawahl2019 #EUElections2019

The Press Association reports that the regional voting turnout figure for London in the European elections is 41.3%, up from 40.1% in 2014.
All 32 boroughs and the City of London have finished counting votes, it quotes the regional returning officer, Janet Senior, as saying.

Will he or won't he ? That is the question Greeks are asking in the run-up to an expected announcement from the PM, Alexis Tsipras, over possible snap polls following his leftist party's crushing defeat in the European elections.
With Syriza trailing the centre-right New Democracy by 8.5 % ( and very possibly 9% once official results are announced), the opposition leader, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has called for the 44-year-old leader to resign immediately and call early elections.

Poland's ruling rightwing Law and Justice party (PiS) may have prevailed in the country's European elections, an exit poll suggests.
If confirmed, the result will be a demoralising blow for the opposition European Coalition, a pre-electoral pact made up of several opposition parties which had high hopes of victory.

Nigel Farage, arguably the biggest attraction of the night, is anticipated to arrive at Southampton Civic Centre shortly, where the results for the south-east of England are being counted.
He's likely to be in high spirits too: the Brexit party has made spectacular gains since its launch in January and is likely to sweep the board here.

Ireland's Green party has surged in the European elections, clinching at least one and possibly three of Ireland's 13 seats, according to an exit poll.

The sudden crest in support for the Greens – also reflected in local elections – came amid growing anxiety in Ireland over climate change and biodiversity loss.

I want to congratulate the Greens on a very good election. It's a very clear message from the public that they want us to do more on climate action - and we've got that message. That's going to require lots of changes on individual level, community level and Govt level.

Gosh Tory source saying looks like party about to lose all MEPs apart from maybe one in south east tonight in #EuropeanElection2019 . Almost total wipe out.

Lib Dem source believe party will take two seats in North West and one in West Midlands. So it's not just stereotypical "remain areas" where the party is picking up support.

In Romania, the ruling PSD – ostensibly a social democrat party but increasingly populist – seems to have taken a drubbing at the polls, gaining just 25.8%, according to an exit poll just published. The National Liberal party was also on 25.8% while USR Plus, a new coalition of liberals, was on 23.9%, which will be seen as an impressive showing if the results bear out the exit poll. A liberal-tinged diaspora vote not included in the exit poll may swing things further. The turnout was a record high, close to 50%.

A poll for the online Spanish newspaper Eldiario.es suggests the governing socialist party, PSOE, has scored a comfortable win in the European elections, taking 18 seats and 28.4% of the vote.
Second is the conservative People' party (PP), with 11 seats and 17.3% of the vote, followed by the centre-right Citizens party with nine seats and 16%.

Spain: Right-wing VOX (ENF) drops from 10.3% vote share in the national election to only 6.5% vote share in the Celeste-Tel exit poll for the European election today. #EP2019 #Europawahl2019 #Elecciones26M #EleccionesUE2019

With the last polls due to close in less than 90 minutes in Europe, here is a summary of what we know so far.

The following regions will declare at the below times, according to the Press Association.

The outgoing leader of the Liberal group in the European parliament, Guy Verhofstadt, has announced that Emmanuel Macron's MEPs will create a new centrist group.
The Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Alde) will join with Macron's 22 MEPs in the next parliament.
For the first time in 40 years, the two classical parties, Socialists and Conservatives, will no longer have a majority. And that means that no solid pro-European majority is possible without the help, without the participation of our new centrist group.
It's clear this evening is a historical moment, because there will be a new balance of power in the European parliament.
What you call a defeat I call a victory ... Our partner has approximately 22 seats.

All eyes in the north-west will be on the anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson. Since announcing his candidacy four and a half weeks ago, Robinson has run the sort of campaign you might expect from the founder of the English Defence League: chaotic, occasionally violent, and centred heavily on Islam and "treacherous" elites.

If turnout is low, he will need around 8% of the vote – about 130,000 votes – to become Britain's first independent MEP. It is a big ask: the crowds at his rallies have ranged from 50 people to 400, while most of his large online fanbase will not be able to vote in the north-west.

As for elsewhere, the Brexit party will expect to mop up disaffected leave voters. Its number one candidate here in the north-west, Claire Fox, is probably one of the party's lesser-known prospective MEPs and has faced criticism for refusing to apologise for comments about the IRA bombing of Warrington, which may cost the party some votes in this region.

The count for the results of #EuropeanElections2019 in the North West have begun in Manchester. We'll find out how many of you turned out to vote soon.

#CapitalReports pic.twitter.com/gtjIr7ibkN

Europe's largest centre right and centre left blocs are set to lose 92 seats, according to an aggregate of polling data.
Officials have just released the first snapshot of what the next European parliament will look like, based on exit polls.

Government officials in Greece are downplaying exit polls which indicate that the main opposition New Democracy party has emerged with an 8.5-point lead over Syriza, the governing party.
Five TV channels have reported the result since ballot boxes closed at 7pm local time, estimating that New Democracy is projected to win between 32.5–34.5% of the vote compared with 24–26% of the vote for leftist Syriza.

Greece, MARC/Alco/Metron Analysis/MRB exit poll (updated):

EU election

ND-EPP: 33.5%
KINAL-S&D: 7.7%
XA-NI: 5.5%
KKE-NI: 5.5%
EL-ENF: 5.5%
MeRA25-LEFT: 2.7%
EK-ALDE: 1.5%
Potami-S&D: 1.5%
ANEL-ECR: 0.8%#EP2019 #Ευρωεκλογές2019 #Europawahl2019 pic.twitter.com/FPJdYWK4U8

Marine Le Pen's far-right National Rally party is estimated to have topped the European election vote in France, dealing a blow to the pro-European, centrist president Emmanuel Macron.
A projection for France 2 television, based on exit polls, showed Le Pen's party coming first with 23.2%, ahead of Macron's centrist grouping on 21.9%.

Britain Elects has posted its poll of polls in a forecast of tonight's results. It makes for interesting reading, with Labour and the Conservatives potentially doing slightly better than some have been saying.

Our forecast for this year's UK European elections has...

Brex: 24 MEPs (+24 vs 2014)
LDem: 15 (+14)
Lab: 14 (-6)
Con: 10 (-9)
Grn: 4 (+1)
SNP: 2 (-)
PC: 1 (-)

Results will be posted here and on our site as the night progresses. https://t.co/QNnnVpo5HI pic.twitter.com/fIjpk4bKaS

Turnout across the EU27 member states is close to 51%, the European parliament has announced. That is the best score since 1994.
Officials are awaiting data from the UK, which could leave the EU-wide figure at 49-52%.

Worth keeping an eye on Europe Elects' live results projection graphic:

EU28: Our live-projection for the result of the European Parliament just updated. Major gains for the Greens/EFA group as the Greens in Germany perform better than expected. Almost 70 seats now. #EP2019 #Europawahl2019

Follow the projection live here: https://t.co/JaP0MTYOBR pic.twitter.com/Y7oz4H1mE4

Voters participation has risen in 13 countries, according to early data on turnout released by the European parliament.
Among seven countries where voting has closed, turnout has gone up in the Netherlands, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Slovakia had the lowest turnout across the EU in 2014, so its score will be closely watched.

Malta's Labour party are set for victory, with the official estimate reporting that they will receive 55% of the vote, with the Nationalist party (PN) in second place on 37% after 73% of the electorate turned out to vote – the largest among EU countries reported so far.
This would see Labour picking up another seat to take their total to four, at the expense of the Nationalist party, whose number of MEP's would fall to two.

Latest projections: 50,000+ @PL_Malta @JosephMuscat_JM majority over @PNmalta @adriandeliapn. Keeps growing, possibly biggest political party in Europe? #EP2019 #Elections2019 #Malta #maltafqalbna pic.twitter.com/XyB3c5fcQ4

The count for the south-east of England is now under way at Southampton's civic centre. Nigel Farage, who has been an MEP for the constituency since 1999, is expected to arrive at the venue after 9pm.
The first turnout figures for the UK show the area covering Birmingham at 31.1% (down from 32.4% in 2014), while the turnout for the south east in the European elections is 39.36%, which is up from 36.3% in 2014.

At the #EUelections2019 count for South East England in Southampton. Turnout was 39.36% (up about 3% from 2014). Farage is expected to turn up after 9pm, with results to come after 10pm. pic.twitter.com/FxiLgdF2u5

And they're off. Counting under way in Edinburgh #EuElection2019 pic.twitter.com/uv7oa7vywl

The centre-right Austrian People's Party (ÖVP) of chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, performed strongly in the Alpine state, where the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) suffered less severely than expected from a recent corruption scandal.
Exit polls saw Kurz's conservatives as the strongest party on 34.5% of the vote, up by 7.5% on the previous elections. The centre-left SPÖ came second on 23.5% but performed slightly less well than in 2014.

Austria's political landscape has over the last week been shaken up by the emergence of a video showing Freedom party leader and vice-chancellor, Heinz-Christian Strache, offering a purported Russian heiress lucrative public contracts in exchange for campaign support. Strache resigned from government, and the remaining FPÖ ministers have been fired or resigned from office since.

But the rightwing populist party fared better in the European elections than many had expected, with their share of the vote only down by 2.2 percentage points, at 17.5%.

The Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, was among the first to cast a ballot in his home city and Sicilian capital of Palermo early on Sunday morning, but turnout on the southern island was at midday just 8.7%, the lowest in the country, with many people voting in protest.
"My wife and I decided to mark a blank ballot," said Pietro, a manager in Palermo. "All of the Italian parties have let us down."
I have always been leftwing, my late husband was a true communist and we shared the same ideas. I recently started to like [M5S leader] Luigi Di Maio, and when I woke up this morning, said to myself: ‘I will vote for the M5S'. But then I got a message from my daughter, saying ‘remember dad is watching you in the voting booth from up there'. And so I voted for the [centre-left] Democratic Party.

The latest participation figures in Spain put turnout at 49% by 6pm local time – well up from 34% at the same time five years ago, Sam Jones writes from Madrid.
That means Spain is on course to surpass 2014 turnout of 43.8%.

There is not too much suspense in Hungary, where Fidesz, the party of the far-right prime minister, Viktor Orbán, is going to dominate the vote. The only question is just how decisive its victory will be. Polls before voting day had Fidesz winning about 55% of the vote and 14 of Hungary's 21 seats in the European parliament. The new liberal party Momentum is hoping to edge across the 5% threshold and grab a seat.
Orbán has based the whole Fidesz campaign around the issue of migration, as he has done with all campaigns for the past few years. Budapest is plastered with anti-migration billboards and Orbán has spoken of the importance for the future of Europe that the next parliament is dominated by "anti-migration" forces. Orbán will be a key player in the building of any nationalist/populist coalition in the next parliament. Fidesz are hanging on in the centre-right EPP grouping by a thread, but Orbán has been flirting with Salvini and his new nationalist bloc.

Over in Cyprus, the EU's most easterly member state, counting has begun after voting concluded at 6pm local time with exit polls indicating that for the first time ever a Turkish Cypriot will win one of the six seats reserved for the island nation – a massive boost for those who support reunification.
Niyazi Kizilyürek, an academic at the University of Cyprus, was fielded by Akel, the main opposition leftist party in the Greek-controlled south and has been campaigning on both sides of the divided island.

Cyprus, Noverna exit poll:

European election

AKEL-LEFT: 28.5%
DIKO-S&D: 13%
EDEK-S&D: 9.5%
ELAM-NI: 8.5%
DiPa-*: 3.3% #EP2019 #Cyprus #Ευρωεκλογές2019
https://t.co/Qu2qUR96K6 pic.twitter.com/E5NFw8X1VJ

Exit polls in Germany paint a picture of a sobering night for the two large centrist parties, and a particularly devastating evening for the centre-left.

Both Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democratic Union could face the worst result at European elections in their history, with the CDU at 28%, and the SPD at 15.5% of the vote.

Social Democrats have topped the polls in the Dutch European elections, while a Eurosceptic party for a referendum on "Nexit" has missed expectations, according to an exit poll published by the European parliament.

The poll comes with the usual health warnings, as this is not the final result.

The far-right Flemish separatist party, the Vlaams Belang, looks set to make gains in Belgium's national parliament.

Belgium has also held a "Super Sunday" of European, national and regional elections. The results are expected to entrench divisions, with Dutch-speaking Flanders forecast to move right, while French-speaking Wallonia goes left.

Spaniards are heading to the ballot box for a "Super-Sunday" of European, regional and municipal elections today, less than a month after the country's third general election in under four years.

By 2pm local time, participation stood at 34.8%, well up on the 23.9% at the same point five years ago.

Italians went to the polls on Sunday after a divisive campaign that left many feeling confused and worried as key parties failed to offer up clear and positive policies for Europe.

"A European election campaign has never felt like this before," said Gualtieri Pinci after casting his vote at a polling station in central Rome.
Right up until the moment I entered the booth, I didn't know who to vote for. Politically, everything is very confusing, no party has a clear vision, just lots of vague declarations. I like Europe and regret what I see happening in the UK.
Usually us Italians don't expect much from voting but the EU elections are important. It's important that we have peace, solidarity and acceptance of others – I'm afraid of our current government, which is hostile towards anything different.

Turnout could be one of the big stories of the night, with early signs that more people have gone to the polls than in previous European parliament elections.

Turnout was up in early voting in several countries.

#EUelections2019, Poland:

Turnout at midday: 14,39% (7,31% in 2014)

Voting continues till 9pm local time.

Welcome to our live coverage as four days of voting across European Union member states draw to a close and the counting begins.
As Jon Henley, the Guardian's European affairs correspondent, writes today:
The western world's largest democratic exercise is nearing its finale as tens of millions of EU citizens vote in European parliament elections that will shape the bloc's future.
Polls suggest the vote will produce a more fragmented parliament than ever before, with the two centre-right and centre-left groups that have dominated Europe's politics forecast to lose their joint majority for the first time, and nationalist and populist forces to make gains. Continue reading...

'Troubled times': what European papers say about the election results
Front pages reflect rise in votes for far-right and Green parties as centrist parties slump

Many European newspapers have focused on the strong showing of far-right parties across the continent in the parliamentary elections.
In France, where Marine Le Pen's National Rally has beaten Emmanuel Macron's centrist grouping, Le Monde says: "The extreme right comes first in France, Italy and the UK". Le Figaro says "Macron sets up duel with Le Pen" after the the president's group won 22.5% compared with Le Pen's 23.5% in France.

Some front pages from European papers today. Here's Süddeutsche Zeitung leading it's e-paper with news that the Greens are the second biggest party in Germany for the first time .... pic.twitter.com/GAEgkKf78J

Libération hails 'The rise of the Greens' across Europe with its poster front page of French Greens leader Yannick Jadot. pic.twitter.com/5EsczdVodV

Ya está disponible la primera edición de ABC del lunes 27 de mayo en @abckioskoymas https://t.co/wkY7dOgQRB pic.twitter.com/Wdr6j1MKYO Continue reading...