The government suffered yet another electoral disaster last night, losing a previously safe parliamentary seat to the Conservatives.
Their candidate, Edward Timpson, beat Labour’s Tasmin Dunwoody, by overturning a 7,000 plus deficit to win by near the same margin, their first by-election gain since 1982 on a swing of 17.6 per cent. Although Labour have suffered losses on bigger swings, for example, Brent East, Dunfermiline & West Fife and Glasgow Govan, in the past, last night’s defeat will be seen as evidence that the government is continuing to lose its way.
Not surprisingly, there has been a lot of usual ‘advice’ for Prime Minister Gordon Brown from the political centre left, ranging from Labour MPs to newspaper commentators. However, what happens from now is that the present (mal)administration is at death’s door, and no amount of pulling and prodding will revive it.