UK parties await fate as EU polls close

Polls have closed in the UK for European elections.
Polls have closed in the UK for European elections.

Polls have closed in European elections which the UK's Theresa May hoped would never have to be held in her country - and which could provide a damaging blow to her Conservative party.

Nigel Farage issued a warning to Westminster's politicians that his Brexit Party would be coming for their jobs ahead of his expected success.

Results of the European contests will not start being announced until Sunday night but opinion polls have suggested Farage's party is on course for victory in the elections, which are only taking place because of the delay to Brexit.

Meanwhile, the election watchdog said it was aware of reports EU citizens had been unable to vote in the UK - and blamed the late notice from May's Government that the poll would be going ahead.

Results will be announced after 10pm on Sunday (BST).

Both May and Labour's Jeremy Corbyn are braced for a backlash from voters, with Farage's party and - from the opposite side of the Brexit divide - the Liberal Democrats expected to pick up votes.

A total of 73 MEPs will be elected to represent the UK.

In a polling day video message, Corbyn warned that "the far right is on the rise" and Britain was "at a crossroads".

May smiled as she arrived to cast her ballot alongside husband Philip in her Maidenhead constituency, but knows the Tories are in for a difficult set of results after a distinctly lacklustre campaign.

The European elections took place almost three years after the UK voted to leave the EU because of May's failure to get her Brexit deal through Parliament.

Australian Associated Press