British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party has secured big wins in local elections, a month ahead of the UK’s snap general election.
The final results released Friday show that the center-right party won 1,900 seats, up 558, while the main opposition, Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, lost 320 to end up with 1,151.
Corbyn admitted that his party would face a big challenge in the June 8 general election called for by May.
"I am disappointed at every Labour defeat in the local elections,” Corbyn said, adding, “It is a challenge on an historic scale.”
Meanwhile, May (pictured below) said that "it's encouraging that we've won support across the whole of the UK but I will not take anything for granted, because there is too much at stake."
British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon, who is also a Conservative, said the outcome was “very encouraging,” but noted that the results were not an “accurate prediction” of a general election.
The Friday results also show that the Liberal Democrats won 441, down 37 and the UK Independence Party (UKIP), which pushed for Britain’s exit from the European Union, suffered the most, losing all 114 seats it previously had.
Former UKIP leadership candidate Lisa Duffy admitted that the elections had been "very challenging" for her party.
"I won't use the word 'disaster,' I'll use the word 'challenging,'" she told the BBC. "We knew it was going to be a difficult night."
On April 18, May called for snap election in a surprise move in order to bolster her position before going into two years of negotiations with the EU about the terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc.
EU leaders have dismissed the notion that the early elections would give the British government any leverage in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
They have repeatedly warned Britain that its decision to exit the EU would have dire consequences and cost London dearly.