First up, the Tories were routed in Corbie, the sort of stuffy middle England place they should have ruled with a Mugabe like majority since the dawn of time. Instead, they lost it - having just regained it from Labour in 2010. What clearer sign could there be that Britain - even the English middle class part of it - is abandoning the Tories. Whether this will result in Labour actually winning power and doing anything meaningful with it, or merely transmogrifying into
Meanwhile, here's comedy gold as the Tories try to talk down the significance of their thrashing:
The Tories played down the significance of Labour's victory. Grant Shapps, the Tory chairman, said that Labour had failed the "Crewe Test" – the 17.6% swing to the Tories in the Crewe and Nantwich byelection in 2008.In 2008 Labour had been in power for a million years, had launched dozens of illegal wars, been complicit in torture and kidnapping, tried to turn the population of Britain into serfs and basically imported the whole population of Poland and Pakistan into Yorkshire.
Whereas the Tories have been in power for all of five minutes and should have been able to hold onto a middle England seat. It's like dismissing Wladimir Klitschko because he isn't as fast as Usain Bolt. It totally misses the point of everything.
Even better, the Big Man himself weighs in to proclaim there's nothing to see here, move right along:
Mr Cameron said: “It’s a classic mid-term result and obviously made difficult by the fact that the Conservative MP left the seat in question.”Yes, Dave, you're quite right. Only, you're utterly wrong, and you know it.
In the 1997-2001 parliament, there were 9 by-elections in Labour held seats. Labour won all 9 of them. So hardly a "classic mid term result".
You'd have though people were still so inflamed against the memory of Labour they'd still be voting for anything but the party of the debt mountain and deficit. Face it, the Tories are hated beyond conception. They couldn't see off Gordon Brown in 2010; now, they can't hold onto the seats they won in 2010.
They're more doomed than doomed things that are doomed.
And in even better news, the reactionary fossil also know as John Prescott was not voted back into a public office. Great night all round.