LONDON - A British anti-EU party has polled more votes than the ruling Conservatives in two elections for parliamentary seats, in the latest sign that Prime Minister David Cameron's party faces a threat from the right.

The UK Independence Party, or UKIP, is enjoying a surge in popularity as some right-leaning voters become disillusioned with the ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition against a backdrop of persistent economic problems.

Results showed on Friday that, as expected, the main opposition Labour Party had comfortably won the three seats, Croydon North, Middlesbrough and Rotherham, that were up for grabs in by-elections on Thursday.

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