Labour held on to their seat in Lye Valley ward in Oxford last night. If the feedback I heard is correct then this was in large part down to the Labour candidate being very popular in his local patch and his track record in the community.
I managed to miss an article on Antonia's Blog about a leaflet we put out during the last by-election in Oxford which was in Hinksey Park Ward in July. (I was off on my hols by the time Antonia posted it.)
Now she is entitled to her view and clearly felt very strongly that it is wrong for a party to raise national or international issues during a local by-election campaign. (Not that it ever stopped Labour when it was winning them votes!)
What I do find surprising is that she thinks that this leaflet is worthy of such criticism while the substantive issues - Blair's mishandling or Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon and the Middle East in general - barely rates a mention.
I can remember a time when Labour activists attacked the Lib Dems because we only ever fought on local issues and didn't have anything clear to say on national issues.
I always used to take great delight when various Tory County Councillors waved my leaflets around in the Council chamber before going on to lose Oxford West & Abingdon in 1997. I am delighted to see Antonia joining in and hope it bodes equally well for our success in Oxford East next time.