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Desperation stations: Liberal Democrats scramble to keep their deposit at the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election. [Image: LabourList]

Desperation stations: Liberal Democrats scramble to keep their deposit at the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election. [Image: LabourList]

Congratulations to Mike Kane, the new Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East, who gained around 55 per cent of the vote in yesterday’s by-election.

The poll, necessitated by the untimely death of the previous Labour MP, Paul Goggins, clarified several developments in UK electoral habits:

UKIP is now a major force, coming in second place and knocking the Conservatives into third.

The Liberal Democrats may as well change their name to ‘Lost Deposit’, after they failed to collect even five per cent of the vote (in 2010 they managed 22 per cent). It is the eighth time they have lost their deposit since 2010.

This is what happens when a British political party sells its soul for five years of (extremely) limited influence.

LabourList reported scenes of “desperation” at the count, with Liberal Democrats demanding a recount in a desperate bid to save their £500. But Mark Ferguson, reporting with his eyes held open by matchsticks, had it right when he wrote: “If they have a recount and still lose their deposit, their crushing embarrassment and humiliation will be doubled.”

Mr Kane, in his victory speech, touched on several of the themes that have dominated the current Parliamentary term, and they are worth repeating here.

He said the result “emphatically demonstrates that people here know the NHS is not safe in David Cameron’s hands, and that we’ve had enough of his utterly out-of-touch government”.

He said: “I will be an MP speaking out on the issues that matter to you:

“Fighting for a fair deal for Wythenshawe A&E.

“Exposing the cost-of-living crisis felt by families and pensioners across our area and beyond.

“And on the unfair and disproportionate cuts to local services, Wythenshawe and Sale has said tonight: Enough is enough.”

And he told listeners: “Almost 200 years ago Benjamin Disraeli stood on a spot across the road from here and spoke of One Nation – and he said ‘What Manchester does today, the world does tomorrow’.

“Well, Manchester has rejected David Cameron today – and the rest of Britain will tomorrow.”

Let’s hope so.

But if David Cameron was “rejected”, Nick Clegg was utterly humiliated.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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