Main parties take Brexit battering in UK local elections

Main parties take Brexit battering in UK local elections
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after casting her vote at a polling station near her home in the Thames Valley as voters headed to the polls for council and mayoral elections across England and Northern Ireland Thursday May 2, 2019. (Andrew Matthews/PA via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s two main political parties, Conservatives and Labour, have taken a hammering in local elections as Brexit-weary voters express frustration over the country’s stalled departure from the European Union.

With results in from about 40 percent of the 259 local authorities up for grabs, the governing Conservatives had lost more than 400 seats and the opposition Labour Party more than 50. The Conservatives had previously held about 60 percent of the seats being contested.

Almost three years after Britain voted narrowly to quit the bloc, both the date and terms of departure remain unclear. Voters on both sides of the issue are unhappy.

The biggest surge in votes went to the centrist, pro-EU Liberal Democrats. Greens and independents also made gains.

More results are due Friday across England and Northern Ireland.