A Tory majority of nearly 8,000 in Crewe is pretty much as bad as it could get for Labour. We now have the pleasure of either watching a leadership challenge (which is what they should do) or watching the great ship, fatally holed, sail on with its increasingly isolated captain a sad and lonely figure on the bridge.
I think Bloggers4Labour might be an entertaining read for the next few days.
It could have been worse for NuLab too. I was surprised the BNP had no candidate - Crewe being one of those towns which has seen a massive increase in (mostly Polish) immigration post-EU enlargement. I think it likely they'd have taken some votes which went to the Tories - but they'd have sheared away the Labour core vote even more - perhaps to below 10,000.
I note that the 'respectable' anti-immigration, out-of-Europe party, UKIP, got exactly 922 votes. It's partly that they just don't seem to be able to speak to working-class Brits (being a pretty (old, respectable) middle-class lot themselves, but perhaps its also that the consistently bad press the BNP get makes them uniquely qualified to pick up the 'up yours - all of you' protest vote.
Given current circumstances, it's impressive that 12,000 people still voted Labour - but their share of the vote dropped 18%. Once a tribal vote goes elsewhere, it may return, but it can never be relied on again.
* Edward Timpson (Con) 20,539 (49.49%, +16.93%)
* Tamsin Dunwoody (Lab) 12,679 (30.55%, -18.29%)
* Elizabeth Shenton (Lib Dem) 6,040 (14.55%, -4.03%)
* Mike Nattrass (UKIP) 922 (2.22%)
* Robert Smith (Green) 359 (0.87%)
* David Roberts (Eng Dem) 275 (0.66%)
* The Flying Brick (Monster Raving Loony) 236 (0.57%)
* Mark Walklate (Ind) 217 (0.52%)
* Paul Thorogood (Cut Tax on Diesel and Petrol) 118 (0.28%)
* Gemma Garrett (Ind) 113 (0.27%)