4 May 2013

British anti-EU party makes election gains

3:01 pm on 4 May 2013

The anti-immigration UK Independence Party has made sweeping gains in local elections in England, siphoning support from Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservatives.

The party, which campaigns for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union and an end to "open-door immigration", won more than 140 seats and averaged 25% of the vote in the wards it contested.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said his party gained from voters' disappointment at the established political parties and the result is a game changer.

The Conservatives lost control of 10 councils, but retained 18, while Labour gained two councils and boosted its councillors by nearly 300, the BBC reports.

Mr Cameron said he would "work really hard to win back" supporters who had decided to vote for UKIP.