Jonathan Isaby has posted last night's local election results on ConservativeHome and described them as "disappointing". Indeed. Ok, you might think, what do a the results of a few council by-elections matter? And in some ways you'd be right. But these results are not isolated. There have been many similar results over the last few weeks. Invariably, Conservative vote shares are down and the party seems to be losing more seats in by-elections than it gains. Clearly, there can be peculiar local circumstances at play, but in seats like Wyre Forest, Tavistock and Weymouth & Portland (all parliamentary marginals), the Conservative should be gaining seats not losing them.
Anyone got any light to shed?
At a time when Brown's government is universally disliked and ridiculed, the Tories are unable to benefit either in the real polls or the opinion polls.
There's no doubt the Tories are getting jittery because the deal isn't sealed. This is clearly the case in England. In Wales and Scotland, they're coming from such a low base that some advance is almost inevitable. But here too, there is no appetite either for the Old Etonians who dominate the Tory front benches nor for the agenda of faster, deeper cuts they advocate.