The UKIP candidate Diane James has thanked voters in Eastleigh for delivering a "humungous political shock".
She said she hoped the result would mean that UKIP is no longer excluded from mainstream media coverage.
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.