Vastavam web: English voters frustrated with the deadlock over Brexit punished both Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party in local elections, results showed on Friday. Thursday’s voting for seats on local councils in England provided a stark display of how Britain’s 2016 vote to leave the European Union has split voters beyond traditional party lines. Brexit has damaged the standing of the big parties, both of which are internally divided over how or even whether to lead Britain out of the EU, and have struggled to deliver a coherent message to voters on either side.
Frustration sometimes boiled over. One audience member shouted “Why don’t you resign?” before May addressed Conservatives in Wales. Some ballot papers were spoiled, with voters refusing to vote for any of the parties. With all of the English results counted, the Conservative Party had suffered a net loss of 1,332 seats on local councils that were up for re-election, down by around a quarter. Labour, which would typically aim to gain hundreds of seats in a mid-term vote, instead lost 81.