LONDON – David Cameron's Conservative Party has taken a drubbing in local elections amid a surge of support for an anti-European Union and anti-immigration party.
The early results show that the right-wing United Kingdom Independence Party, or UKIP, won 42 county council seats, while the opposition Labour Party gained more than 20.
Cameron's ruling Conservatives lost 74 seats, a position UKIP leader Nigel Farage called a "sea change in British politics" in remarks to the BBC Friday.
The rise of UKIP adds to pressure on Cameron to staunch a flow of voters from his party ahead of the next general election in 2015 and to take a harder line on European reform.
Voters have gone to the polls in 34 council contests across England, plus the Isle of Anglesey in Wales.