The UK Independence Party's Diane James, has described beating the Tories to take second place in the Eastleigh by-election was a "humongous" shock that represented a "seismic shift" in UK politics.
Conservative candidate Maria Hutchings polled 10,559 votes - more than 1,000 behind Ukip, which snatched huge chunks of the coalition parties' 2010 general election vote share, taking more than 27% of the total.
The Conservative Party has a habit of turning a drama into a crisis. Especially when the background to the drama is Europe.
The wider political impact of parliamentary by-elections often turns out to be more important than the result – Eastleigh is no exception.