British Prime Minister David Cameron may have some tough choices to make ahead of the 2015 general election.
The strong performance of the UK Independence Party in local elections on May 2 is mainly at the expense of Cameron’s Conservative Party.
The UK Independence Party (UKIP), led by Nigel Farage, campaigned for Britain to leave the European Union and for an end to what it describes as an “open-door immigration” policy. UKIP is projected to come third with a voting share only beaten by Labour and the Conservatives.
Cameron has already begun to show he is taking electoral support for UKIP seriously. When asked on Friday by the BBC whether he took back his description of UKIP as “fruitcakes”, Cameron said: “It’s no good insulting a political party that people have chosen to vote for.”
However, UKIP still has no MPs in the British parliament.
Local elections were held in 34 councils.
UKIP have increased their number of councillors by 139 – up from just eight.
Results so far show the Conservatives have lost 335 councillors and lost control of 10 councils.
The Liberal Democrats lost 123 seats – about a quarter of their seats.
Labour have an extra 291 councillors, more than doubling their number, and have gained control of two more councils.
Labour managed to win a by-election in South Shields, keeping a Labour seat where the election was triggered by the resignation of David Miliband – former British Foreign Secretary and brother of Labour leader Ed Miliband.