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Conservatives brace for a battering in UK local elections

LONDON (AP) — Voters in many parts of Britain are electing local councils, with the governing Conservatives bracing for a backlash over Brexit and other issues. Elections are being held Thursday for more than 8,000 seats on 259 local authorities across England — although not in London — and Northern Ireland.

The Conservatives, who currently hold almost 60% of the seats up for grabs, are forecast to lose hundreds of them as both pro-Brexit and pro-European Union voters express frustration at the political impasse around Britain's departure from the bloc.

First results are due overnight, although many areas won't begin counting until Friday morning. British voters are going to the polls again on May 23 in a European Parliament election, unless lawmakers pass Prime Minister Theresa May's thrice-rejected EU divorce deal before then so Britain can leave the bloc.

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