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>> A damaging defeat for the UK Labour party. An historic by-election lost to the Conservatives on Friday raising serious questions about the long term electoral prospects of Jeremy Corbyn's party. Labour losing a seat in the North Western region of Copeland where it's held power for over 80 years.
Reuters UK correspondent William James is following the story.>> The reality of the situation is that Labour's grip on that seat has been slipping away for a long time because the area's been changing. It's no longer dominated by primary industries like fishing, steel-making. It's actually getting a lot wealthier cuz there's a nuclear plant down the road.
But the bottom line is, Labours held this seat since 1935 and it probably should have won it on this occasion as well. It had a strong argument, a strong labor argument which is that the local hospital was having services cut that's something that's the labor party is very strong on it and it resonates the Labour voters.
So the fact that it didn't win really tells you something about the state of the party, I think.>> The win gives Prime Minister Theresa May the first gain for a ruling party at a by-election in 35 years.>> This would be a real shot in the arm for Theresa May.
A lot of people have switched from Labour to Conservatives, which is actually quite a big leap for a lot of these people because its, like I said, traditional labor area, so. For Teresa May's Conservatives this is a huge, huge boost and it will endorse their Brexit strategy. And, really just give them a little bit more confidence to push through that Brexit plan.
>> Labour did win a seat in Stoke on Trent by a comfortable or be it reduced margin over UKIP. That lost showing the anti-EU parties failed to capitalized on the anti-establishment sentiment it tapped into so successfully when persuading voters to back Brexit last year. Former leader Nigel Farage warned last week that the Stoke vote was vital for the party's future.
Regardless of that small victory, Friday's results likely to heap renewed pressure on Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a man who only soar off a challenged to his leadership in September.