Colour me stunned, the Conservatories held the safest Conservatory seat in the country.
Yes, I am disappointed not to get brilliant Mr Stephen into parliament, but this is a good sign for the future. i.e. we've still got one!
Despite HYSTERICAL coverage from the Grauniad trying to distract attention, and their results list giving the Conservatories a majority of 74% by overlooking the Liberal Democrats entirely (how strangely TYPICAL of the tribally NewLabour Grauniad), the Liberal Democrat vote held up pretty well against the Conservatories at full flood.
So the big story was the Labour receiving just 1066 votes and losing their deposit.
Ignoring the effects of CHURN for the moment, what has happened is this: the Labour have lost about ELEVEN percentage points. Two points went to us – hooray! Two points were scattered among the usual Monster Raving and fringe candidates. The Greens and the UKPNuts were pretty unchanged. But somewhat distressingly, the rest of the Labour vote appears to have split pretty evenly between the Conservatories and the BNP.
Statistically, because their vote share gained MORE than ours did, this is described as a swing from Liberal Democrat to Conservatory. And Mr Balloon has been bragging about it. But it's not a very IMPRESSIVE swing you have there, Mr Balloon.
The Conservatory lead in vote share over us went up from 27.5% to 29.1%, an increase of 1.6% which I believe is a SWING of only 0.8% - possibly enough to net him Romsey and Cheltenham from us in a general election.
And don't let's kid ourselves that he won't be trying – and spending those Ashcroft millions too – to take those seats.
But frankly, with everyone's vote DOWN except the people who didn't stand at all last time, it's just as possible that the whole Labour vote simply stayed at home, and that ALL of the BNP support came directly from the Conservatories, say.
The only lessons we can really learn from this by-election and from the one in Crewe and Nantwich is that the Conservatories are doing well at the moment, but whether in second or third, whether it's a Labour seat or a Conservatory one, the Liberal vote is actually pretty solid, and no matter where you are, nobody wants to vote for Mr Frown.
This must be a HUMILIATING first anniversary as Prime Monster for Mr Frown, for the Labour to come behind the British Nasty Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Greens and the British Nasty Party.
Of course they are trying to put a brave face on it, trying to put the blame on the current state of the British economy (author, a Mr G Frown… oops).