Nicola Sturgeon declared she was “pretty happy” with the early European election results from Scotland, as the SNP topped the polls in the first areas to declare.
With results in from about a third of Scotland’s councils so far, the SNP is sitting on 39% of the vote.
Nigel Farage’s newly former Brexit Party was second, on 16% of the vote – putting it on track to send a Scottish representative to the European Parliament.
The Liberal Democrats share of the vote was up to 13%, putting it ahead of both the Conservatives on 12% and Labour on 9% – with Jeremy Corbyn’s party seeing its vote slump across the UK.
Ms Sturgeon, who is in Dublin ahead of a series of meetings on Monday, said it was a “bit of a strange experience” to be following the results from outside Scotland, but she was “pretty happy” so far.
In Dublin ahead of day of meetings tomorrow. Bit of a strange experience following the election results from outside Scotland…lots of declarations still to come but, so far, I’m feeling pretty happy 😁
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) May 26, 2019
In the previous European elections in 2014, the SNP secured 28.9% of votes across Scotland, securing two MEPs. Labour also returned two MEPs, with 25.9% of the votes then.
Scotland also had a Conservative and a Ukip MEP, with the two parties securing 17.2% and 10.4% of the vote respectively.
But both the Greens, who polled 8%, and the Liberal Democrats, who secured 7.1% of the votes, missed out then.
Very early days at the national #EUelections2019 count in Edinburgh but clear Scotland has endorsed remain, led by @theSNP. Our remain vote cannot be ignored any longer. Scotland’s for Europe 🏴🇪🇺 pic.twitter.com/sNsbuqG7f0
— Alyn Smith MEP 🏴🇪🇺 (@AlynSmith) May 26, 2019
The SNP fought this campaign on a strong anti-Brexit platform, with Ms Sturgeon urging voters to back her party to show “Scotland’s for Europe”.
The Liberal Democrats, whose vote is up across the UK, and the Scottish Greens, also campaigned against Brexit.
The Brexit referendum in 2016 meant European elections should not have taken place in the UK, with outgoing PM Theresa May having originally wanted the country to have left the European Union by March 29 2019.
The failure to deliver Brexit seems set to damage Conservative support, while Labour also appears to have suffered, following its failure to put forward a clear message on Europe.
Former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale tweeted that Labour was 6th in the Edinburgh City Council area.