The Conservatives have haemorrhaged more than 1300 seats in the local elections, especially in their southern England strongholds.
But Jeremy Corbyn's Labour, who have been in Brexit talks with the Tories for the last few weeks, have made no headway, and also lost 77 seats.
Polling experts have dubbed the results for the two main parties a "plague on both your houses", after Labour struggled in northern councils such as Sunderland, Burnley and Bolton.
The main beneficiaries have been the Liberal Democrats, who have gained nearly 700 seats, and the Greens.
Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cabie said it was his party's "best result in 15 years" and signalled a return to three-party politics.
UKIP has also lost seats, while it's been a good night also for independents and local groups.
BBC projections show that if results were translated into a nationwide General Election, both the Conservatives and Labour would get 28% of the vote, with the Lib Dems on 19%.
LOSSES: Voters have punished Theresa May's Tories over her Brexit woes (Pic: GETTY)
There were calls from Tory MPs for Theresa May's removal as leader, with senior Brexiteer Sir Bernard Jenkin warning that the party would be "toast" unless it "mends its ways pretty quickly".
Meanwhile Crispin Blunt said the party needed to replace Mrs May, adding: "I've been trying to get her out openly since December.
"Lots of people are trying to get the message over."
Mrs May admitted the local elections were "very difficult" and that the message being sent by voters was "to just get on and deliver Brexit".
But Labour also struggled, losing seats at a point in the electoral cycle when they could expect to be making significant gains at the expense of the Government.
Mr Corbyn, on a visit to Trafford, a former Tory stronghold where Labour won over-control of the council, said: "Results across the country are interesting, to put it mildly.
"But I also say the swings to Labour in many parts of the country show that we can win seats in a general election, whenever that comes."
“If it was 500 rather than 1,000 I would be happy with that”
Brexit minister James Cleverly
With some analysts predicting overall Tory loses of 800 seats or more, Brexit Minister James Cleverly suggested it would be a good result if they could be kept down to 500.
"If it was 500 rather than 1,000 I would be happy with that," he said.
Polling expert Professor Sir John Curtice of Strathclyde University said the voters appeared to be punishing whichever of the main two parties was in control in their area.
"The Labour Party is losing where they are strong historically, the Conservatives are losing where they are strong historically. It's a plague on all your houses," he said.
The Conservatives lost Mid-Devon, Torridge, Herefordshire, Peterborough, Basildon, Southend, Worcester, St Albans, Welwyn Hatfield, Folkestone and Hythe, Broxtowe, Tendring and Tandridge to no overall control while Winchester, Chelmsford, Bath and North East Somerset, Somerset Wesand Taunton, Vale of White Horse, Cotswold and Hinckley and Bosworth fell to the Liberal Democrats, with North Kesteven going to independents.
However the party held on in the bellwether council of Swindon, seen as a possible Labour gain, and took Walsall, and North East Lincolnshire from no overall control, and North East Derbyshire from Labour.
Labour lost control of Read More – Source[contf] [contfnew]