Interesting byelection results yesterday..... mixed bag for Labour, saw off UKIP in Stoke, but lost Copeland. As Farron stated UKIP have no further point as the Tory right wing Brexit coup, has seized their ground. The general question now seems to be how much further to the right can the Tories shift?
Copeland is not really, as the media have liked to portray, strong Labour territory. Having lived up that way for a few years whilst there are traditional Labour areas on the coast (Whitehaven etc) the vast majority of the constituency is rural farming land and thus traditional Tory territory.
Despite it being a Labour seat for years, in the 80's and early 90's the MP (one of the Cunninghams who seemed to monopolize West Cumbrian politics) only tended to have a c.2k majority over the Tory candidate. Add to that the influx of wealth from Sellafield, the incoming workforce with no traditional links and Corbyns problems with the Nuclear industry and its not really a shock.
Although the kicker for Corbyn was that Theresa May rolled up in the constituency, basically confirmed they are planned to shut a lot of the hospital and shunt services 40+ miles away to Carlisle (where access is crap) and people still voted Tory!
In terms of Stoke the more eye catching thing was despite being shown to have lied (rather unpleasantly in many cases) every time he opened his mouth Nuttall managed to get 24% of the vote, I know many of those who support UKIP, but won't admit why, are trying to spin it as a protest vote but there were plenty of Independents standing?