Europe

UK Conservatives take long-held Labour Party seat

  • Conservative candidate Trudy Harrison and her husband Keith kiss after winning the Copeland by-election at Whitehaven Sports Centre in Cumbria, Britain Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)

    Conservative candidate Trudy Harrison and her husband Keith kiss after winning the Copeland by-election at Whitehaven Sports Centre in Cumbria, Britain Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Peter Byrne/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Labour candidate Gareth Snell, center right, celebrates with his wife Sophia, front right, after winning the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, Britain Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

    Labour candidate Gareth Snell, center right, celebrates with his wife Sophia, front right, after winning the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, Britain Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Counting takes place in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, Britain Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Polls have closed in two crunch special elections in Labour Party heartlands, Copeland and Stoke Central, where the party has faced fierce challenges from the Conservative Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)

    Counting takes place in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election at Fenton Manor Sports Complex in Stoke, Britain Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017. Polls have closed in two crunch special elections in Labour Party heartlands, Copeland and Stoke Central, where the party has faced fierce challenges from the Conservative Party and the United Kingdom Independence Party. (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Britain's governing Conservative Party has seized a parliamentary seat long held by the Labour Party in a special election blow to the opposition.

Conservative Trudy Harrison won the seat in Copeland that had been held by Labour since the district was formed in 1983. Copeland is a rural district in the far north of England.

The vote was seen as a setback for Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who has struggled to unite his party and win popular support.

Harrison said Corbyn's unpopularity helped her unseat Labour. It is unusual for a governing party to make gains in special elections.

Labour did manage to hold on to its seat in Stoke-on-Trent, central England, beating back a challenge by UKIP.

The elections were held after the lawmakers in both districts resigned.