Britain's two main parties suffered a drubbing Friday in English local elections, with Prime Minister Theresa May's governing Conservatives bearing the brunt of voter frustration over the prolonged Brexit deadlock.
"This is a difficult time for our party and these election results are a symptom of that," May told the Welsh Conservative Conference, having faced down a heckler calling for her to quit.
The results raise the pressure on May and Labour counterpart Jeremy Corbyn to strike a deal and avoid having to hold European Parliament elections on May 23, where they face being wiped out by Nigel Farage's Brexit Party, which did not compete in Thursday's vote.
Corbyn said that he was "very sorry" for the party's losses, adding that there was now "a huge impetus" for the talks to succeed.
The party's Brexit position is described by some commentators as constructive ambiguity.
It is also losing support over the issue of anti-Semitism, which flared again this week when it emerged that leader Corbyn had written the foreword to a book containing what the party called "offensive references.”
If results were replicated nationwide, pollster John Curtice calculated that both the Conservatives and Labour would each get only 28 percent of the total vote, saying the days of two-party domination "may be over.”
The problems for the two main parties could worsen at the European elections when they will also face two newly-formed forces: the Brexit Party -- which leads in the opinion polls -- and pro-EU centrists Change UK.
Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin told BBC radio that if the centre-right party "doesn't mend its ways pretty quickly, the Conservative Party is going to be toast.”