Helen Morgan victory in North Shropshire leaves Tory high command looking 'weak and wobbly'

The North Shropshire victory is without doubt a spectacular result for the Liberal Democrats and delivers them their first and only MP across the whole of the Midlands since 2015. The party believes it also delivers a strong message to Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Liberal Democrat group leader for Leicestershire County Council Michael Mullaney tells me: "Voters are fed up with this chaotic incompetent Boris Johnson tory government and just as in Chesham and Amersham they are turning to the Lib Dems to express their anger."

It is certainly a wake up call to the man who famously thanked Midlands voters in 2019 in so called 'red wall' areas for lending him their votes. Now, Boris Johnson is losing votes in the traditional blue heartlands.

It is the second by election defeat at opposite ends of the country and the 34% swing - will sting.

But let's not forget this is a prime minister well used to weathering knock-backs and threats to his authority.

Boris Johnson campaigning in North Shropshire earlier this month Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

Parliament has just gone into recess and he is front and centre of the national campaign to get us "boosted".

He will be hoping that this is another dark cloud that will fade away in time. 

But Mr Johnson will also be aware the only reason a by-election was called was because of sleaze allegations directed at a former colleague in Cabinet - Owen Paterson. 

Voters I spoke to while filming during the campaign in Oswestry told me it was time for fresh face - a face that put local issues and constituents concerns first. 

It might have been argued that the loss of one seat for the Tories is of little consequence given the substantial 80 seat majority enjoyed by the prime minister ... but as we know a mighty 99 of his own party rebelled against him in the Plan B vote this week. 

To coin a phrase from the Theresa May era it is best to govern when "strong and stable" - the Helen Morgan victory in North Shropshire has resulted in a Tory high command looking decidedly "weak and wobbly".