Just back from the north east after spending a day with my dad in Redcar.
I'm proud of the Lib Dem team and the campaign they ran. It still strikes me as odd that it is the Lib Dems who are the party making the running in these by-elections. Labour's leaflets. despite seven years in power, largely consisted of attacks on the Lib Dem candidate. The Tory campaign started late and barely existed. Local Labour members were (w)rightly ashamed of their party's campaign.
I am happy to see Labour delude themselves that a 19% swing to the Lib Dems is a victory, although their poor result is nothing compared to the Conservatives falling to fourth.
If the Tories are set for any kind of breakthrough in the General they should be closing on Labour in a by-election in Hartlepool (they did start from second place!) - not cede ground to the Lib Dems. There must be a lot of very glum Tory activists heading for Bournemouth today.
Jody Dunn deserves a huge amount of credit for fighting such an energetic and positive campaign. She was quite clearly the best candidate and remained unflappable until then end, even in the face of the nasty and self-defeating antics of the so-called Fathers4Justice.
Disappointed not to win, but delighted to have helped such an outstanding candidate and to help push the Tories nearer to the dustbin of history where they belong.