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Ukip vote collapses as Paul Nuttall fails to win Boston and Skegness

The Ukip leader could only finish a distant third in Brexit heartland Boston and Skegness, with the Tories holding the seat.

Ukip has suffered a collapse in its vote and party leader Paul Nuttall failed in his bid to win a Commons seat.

After 400 results, the party’s vote share was down almost 11% from 2015, when Nigel Farage led the party to secure 12.6% of the vote but just a single MP.

Mr Nuttall could only finish a distant third in Brexit heartland Boston and Skegness, with the Tories holding the seat.

Elsewhere, the Ukip vote seemed to disappear, splitting between Labour and the Conservatives.

The Ukip leader’s performance in Boston and Skegness saw him secure just 7.71% of the vote, down 26.08% from the party’s performance in the seat in 2015.

The humiliation in Boston comes after he failed to win in the Stoke Central by-election in February.

An indication that it was going to be a difficult night for his party came in Sunderland, which a year ago provided an early sign that the European Union referendum was going to result in Brexit.

In Houghton and Sunderland South, Ukip’s vote was down 15.78%, in Sunderland Central it was down 14.25%, and in Washington and Sunderland West it was cut by 12.85%.

Former party leader Mr Farage insisted that Ukip could benefit if – as an exit poll predicted – the country faces a hung parliament.

He told LBC Radio: “If the result of this tonight is that we finish up without a government with a clear majority pushing for Brexit, then a huge gap opens in the political landscape for Ukip once again.”

But he said officials in Brussels “will have looked at the exit polls and be cheering very loudly because right now, if we believe the exit polls, Brexit is under a bit of threat”.

Mr Nuttall tweeted: “If the exit poll is true then Theresa May has put Brexit in jeopardy. I said at the start this election was wrong. Hubris.”

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