The Labour backbencher Austin Mitchell has described Labour finishing fourth in the Eastleigh by-election "a disaster":
Eastleigh disaster. Labour needs a nationalist appeal. The nation is being betrayed,weakened and sold down river.We sd say so
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.