THE much publicised UK Independence Party earthquake rumbled into Warrington as thousands of voters turned to the party.

UKIP came in a close second behind the Labour Party in the European Parliamentary vote in the town, polling 15,236 compared to Labour’s 16,237.

The Conservatives were left behind in third with 10,782 while the Liberal Democrats polled 3,898 to come fourth.

UKIPs standing after Thursday’s vote leaves the group in a strong position according to Warrington party leader James Ashington.

He said: “We got nine seats where we came second where we had not ever stood in seats before.

“We are delighted with the European vote.

“The weather vane is set fair for a year’s time for the general election. We are looking to get some seats in Westminster this time.

“In the last three elections we had the same story ‘it was a protest vote’, how long do you carry on saying that?

“There is a change in the geophysical sector so we now have four major parties instead of three.”

The party saw a strong showing in central Warrington wards and UKIP has aspirations to push on as the Warrington branch sees its numbers swell.

“We are planning to have all seats filled with candidates next year,” added Mr Ashington. “We found the candidates in a three month period and we had to train them up.

“It’s the beginning of the beginning and I would think in 12 months time we will have at least one MP in Westminster and we are hoping for at least nine seats on Warrington Borough Council.

“Many said on the doorstep they hadn’t heard of us but we can’t say that now.

“A lot said, particularly in North Warrington, they hadn’t seen anyone from the Labour party in the last five years. People don’t like being ignored.

“We have had people who have never voted before voting for us.”