As I said yesterday, there was little to gain and much to lose from last nights' by-elections. The biggest losers were the Conservatives who failed to gain second spot in Ealing Southall and actually lost out to the Lib Dems in Sedgefield from the 2005 result for second. Big questions are now going to be asked on the Tory strategy and last night's results will only add fuel to the discontent in the right of the party. It seems at times that Tories are where they were 5 years ago.
Labour will be pleased, though they have seen they majority halved in Ealing Southall. Given the fall in support (which is the least to be expected really) it seems now even more unlikely that Brown will call a snap election. The only reason for doing so would be if he stood a chance of increasing his majority - a gamble too far perhaps as I see little evidence that he would make significant gains.
The Lib Dems did enough to save Ming I suspect, but little else and the will be neither rejoicing nor too disappointed.
All in all a night of one big loser and no real winners - though I'm sure Gordon Brown will be the happiest of all the leaders this morning.
Here is the blogosphere reaction to last night's results -
Tories Fail to Meet Ealing Expectations
I have just seen the two by election results. This is what Tory by election manager Grant Shapps had to say about the Ealing result...
…. The words straws and clutching come to mind. I genuinely thought the Conservatives would come a good second here, but let's not pretend this was a satisfactory result. It patently was not. But Grant is also right to point out the LibDem failure to get their by election bandwagon rolling here.
Brown's 'new realism' captures public mood
With every passing day, Gordon Brown's tactics are becoming clearer. He is bundling together government initiatives and promises into a package that we might call the "New Realism".
Whether these tactics add up to a strategy, let alone a political philosophy, remains to be seen. But they are clever.
Which leaders came out of yesterday best?
Has Cameron got the most problems this morning?
Judged by the standards of normal mid-term by elections the reduced Labour majorities in Ealing Southall and Sedgefield were sensational victories for Labour. To have kept its average vote share loss in both seats down to 10.7% was something that the party can take real comfort from.
Forget Ealing , The Future is Bright
Feeling a little flat after the disappointing Ealing result ? The answer , as so often in life , is to listen to Homer Simpson.
We are in what Homer called that" Glorious period between the telling of a lie and being found out “.Brown has somehow managed to give the impression he was not here for the last ten years and that he is a moderate almost rightish politician .I have reported that the continued purring of the left is not for nothing, and subterraneously, the empire is already attacking academies and privatisation of the NHS.
The Blues' Byelection Blues
To sum up last night's byelections in Sedgefield and Ealing Southall.
Scenario: The curtain finally came down on the Blair Era last night on some high notes for New Labour. The Party held both its safe seats, and not everyone does that especially mid-term. The impending collapse of the police case on cash for peerages further cheered Blairites and Brownites alike.