It was billed as ‘Super Thursday’ – a day on which lots of different elections were taking place simultaneously – and the Conservatives were widely predicted to get a bloody nose.
In fact, both main parties took a drubbing. Yes, the Tories lost to Labour in the Corby by-election triggered by the resignation of Louise Mensch, but John Prescott, who was hoping to be elected police commissioner in Humberside, lost to Conservative candidate Matthew Grove.
If the former deputy Prime Minister can’t win in the North, what hope does Labour have of winning the next general election?
True, Labour managed to scrape home in the two other by-elections held on Thursday, but the turn-out in both seats was desultory – 18 per cent in Manchester Central and 25 per cent in Cardiff South and Penarth.
However unhappy voters feel about the current government, they don’t appear to have much enthusiasm for Ed Miliband’s alternative. (To read more, click here.)