Round up: Oldham West byelection (unexpectedly) returns a safe Labour majority…

So, in lieu of any definitive account from me, here’s a round up on Oldham East West…

– Fascinating piece from Liam Young… “more importantly we won together. From Progress members to Momentum supporters, from those crazy Corbynista MPs and those dangerous Blairites, we all got involved and united behind a common cause and we won.”

– An apt and proportionate warning though from James O’Malley…

…if you’re a politics nerd like me, spending your days obsessing about politics, not only does that make you weird compared to everyone else, but it also gives you a poor vantage from where to judge what political news is “cutting through” to people who don’t usually care

– The Spectator’s Coffee House passes a harsh judgement on UKIP…

…it has proven that unless it can find money and the ability to effectively campaign, it will fail to make electoral progress and is set to be a declining force in British politics.

– Newstatesman’s George Eaton

The party’s vote share actually rose to 62.1 per cent from 54.8 per cent, while second-placed Ukip’s increased by just 2.7 per cent to 23.4 per cent. (A Lib Dem source told me yesterday morning that Labour was “smashing it”.)

– Unfair perhaps, but it is worth posting an excerpt from Matt Singh’s Red Box piece in the The Times yesterday:

Labour’s Ukip problem is even worse than pollsters thought. As Daniel Finkelstein wrote in The Times last month, “Ukip is eating away at the heart of Labour”, citing recent analysis from Number Cruncher Politics. The analysis found that the polling failure in May reflected Ukip votes coming more from Labour than pollsters had thought (and less from the Tories).

– If Labour people knew any different on the ground they gave nothing away to the press, even some of the sharpest commentators on Labour politics. Except this piece by the FT’s Jim Pickard demonstrates that not everyone was caught up in the UKIP hype.

Other than that, the columnists and opinion makers of London are rather quiet this morning. It’s just a by election after all, after the death of a well loved long term incumbent and a strongly embedded leader of the council. As Paul Mason noted last night:

Whatever it means to Labour’s warring factions, it will worry UKIP. And perhaps Nigel Farage’s rather intemperate comments will worry them even more so. His genius heretofore has been to play down the extreme end of his views.

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