Nigel Farage has unleashed his much-promised political earthquake across British politics as Ukip stormed to victory in the European elections, performing powerfully across the country. The Eurosceptic party's victory marked the first time in modern history that neither Labour nor the Conservatives have won a British national election. In a stunning warning to the established political parties, Ukip was on course to win as much as 28% of the national poll. That is a near doubling of the 16.5% it secured in the last European elections in 2009, when it came second to the Tories with 13 seats.
Nigel Farage declared Ukip's election victory to be "an earthquake because never before in the history of British politics has a party that will be seen to be an insurgent party ever topped the polls in a national election." The cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express takes the earthquake metaphor literally, and shows the whole of London trembling under the shock of the European elections results (with some lightning thrown in for good measure).
An earthquake is a sudden shaking movement of the ground, but the term is also used figuratively to refer to a momentous event. • This is an earthquake which will change the direction in which companies go in the future. A similar idea is found in the adjective earth-shattering (= extremely surprising and important). • Apple's been known for earth-shattering, category-creating, revolutionary products.