There were just two council by-elections this week, but they produced a morale-boosting win for the Conservatives and twin humiliations for Labour.
Here’s the result of the Tories’ victory, which was for the seat of Mevagissey on the enormous Cornwall county council:
The Tories came from third to first, and managed a 9.5% swing from Labour. Ukip retained its position in second place. The result doesn’t affect the balance of power on the 123-seat council, which is run by a coalition of Liberal Democrats and independents.
There was more good news for the Tories in the second of Thursday’s by-elections, where they held a seat in Rugby, despite Ukip coming from nowhere to take second place:
These kinds of contests are only ever tiny snapshots of community opinion, but Labour’s poor performance in both certainly won’t help Ed Miliband overcome his current difficulties.