THE results of the European election will please Nicola Sturgeon.

At the last election in 2014, the SNP had high hopes of picking up a third MEP on the road to the independence referendum, but instead saw their vote share fall.

This time, the party secured the advance it had been looking for, boosting its share of the vote and getting that third seat to give it half of the Scottish contingent in Brussels.

With one-third of SNP supporters backing Leave in 2016, Ms Sturgeon’s unabashed anti-Brexit message was a gamble, but it seemed to pay off.

Read more: LIVE - European elections 2019 live results in Scotland

After sprinkling the word “independence” liberally through the SNP manifesto, Ms Sturgeon will be able to claim the result as evidence of Scotland’s desire for further constitutional change.

There was also some comfort for Ruth Davidson. Despite the Scottish Tory vote falling as the Brexit Party surged into second place, early results suggested the Tories had clung on to their single MEP. The Scottish Tory leader will be pleased the Tory chaos at Westminster has not yet trashed her brand. Although, if Boris Johnson becomes the next prime minister, that could change.

The biggest losers were Scottish Labour, whose leader Richard Leonard backed Brexit over a second referendum as he dutifully toed the Jeremy Corbyn line. In 2014, Scottish Labour’s share of the vote went up five per cent. This time it crashed, and the party appeared set to lose both its MEPs.

There was also disappointment for the Scottish Greens, who hoped this year would see a breakthrough. But the splitting of the anti-Brexit vote meant this was not to be.

Instead, the Liberal Democrats were the other beneficiaries of Remain votes, recovering the seat they lost in 2014. Their “B***ocks to Brexit” slogan was crude but effective. The party will be hoping its redemption is not a one-off, and carries on to the general and Holyrood elections.

The other big winner was Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which came second or third in most council areas and second overall, winning one seat thanks to the support of some of the one million Scots who voted Leave.

Ukip and Change UK flopped.