A pleasant surprise then, the byelection result.
Liberal Democrat 610
On a turnout of 28.58% - a pretty high turnout for a Town Council byelection, which I would have thought in this case would have favoured the Tory, as they seemed to have a lot more people on the ground.
If they can't take a Town Council seat in a single byelection when they can throw people from all over the constituency at it, then I think that augurs well for the Lib Dems here.
Whether we would be better off with a Conservative or a Labour government at national level is now, amazingly, a bit of a moot point. The biggest issue for me is ID cards, which the Tories claim they would scrap - though I have my suspicions that once in power, when they see a. the control it will give them (rather than someone else) over the populace, and, b. the costs of getting out of the contracts, that promise might fall by the wayside.
In any case, I can vote for a Liberal Democrat MP in the knowledge that though he's not perfect, that's one more small voice of liberal sanity (or indeed sane liberalism) in Parliament.