Jon Sopel is positively salivating on BBC News as he looks forward to tonight’s coverage of the by-election. I can’t imagine the scale of disappointment at the BBC and in the wider media if Labour pulls off a surprise victory. “This is the most important by-election for a decade,” Sopel announced. But only if the Tories win, he should have added.
Yes, we all know Crewe is Labour’s 165th safest seat, but we also know that whatever the swing tonight, it can’t be extrapolated across the whole country to give any kind of meaningful indication of a future general election result. If swings in by-elections mean anything, then the Liberals won the 1992 general election with a 300 majority.