Sunday, 25 August, 2019

Conservatives take a battering in local elections, while Labour suffer too

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption Chris Grayling says the contracts were part of a no-deal'insurance policy Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption Chris Grayling says the contracts were part of a no-deal'insurance policy
Patty Aguilar | 03 May, 2019, 15:51

Britain's main Conservative and Labour parties took a hammering in local elections as Brexit-weary voters expressed frustration over the country's stalled departure from the European Union, partial results showed.

Robert Donald pictured in 2011 when the Lib Dems lost control of the district council. "I think we need change, I don't think we can continue like this".

The Lib Dems are the main beneficiaries, while pockets of independent councillors have taken swathes of support from the Tories in Herefordshire and Labour in Ashfield.

"It seems to be "a plague on both your houses" to the Conservatives and the Labour party, who they see as a block on finding some sort of resolution to Brexit".

Results are still being counted.

The Liberal Democrats have gained 304 seats, and non-party affiliated representatives have gained 215.

The Conservatives lost Peterborough, Basildon, Southend, Worcester, St Albans, Welwyn Hatfield, Folkestone and Hythe, Broxtowe, Tendring and Tandridge to no overall control while Winchester, Chelmsford, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset Wesand Taunton, Vale of White Horse, Cotswold and Hinckley and Bosworth fell to the Liberal Democrats, with North Kesteven going to independents.

He said voters' mood was "almost anti-political".

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"Because we haven't been able to deliver Brexit on March 29 we are seeing these results", he told the BBC.

"The Prime Minister has stretched every sinew, she has tried everything".

British Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Philip leave after casting their votes at a polling station in the local council elections on May 2, 2019 in Sonning, England.

"They can see that she has lost the plot".

Labour has lost its majority in Wirral losing three seats to the Conservatives and the Greens.

Labour leader Sir Steve Houghton blamed the national Brexit effect for his party's performance, but the pro-referendum Lib Dem party picked up three seats on the council, creating a confused picture of voters' motives. "That's why people voted for me, they voted for the man not the party". The MP Crispin Blunt said the party needed to replace May with a new leader.

The main beneficiary of the swing against the two main parties - which are in talks to try to break the impasse in the United Kingdom parliament over Brexit - was the pro-EU Liberal Democrats, who had won 304 councillors so far, and said they hoped to make further gains in European Parliament elections on May 23.

HARTING LIB DEM WIN: Lib Dem Kate O'Kelly 968 votes, Tristram Abel 313.

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