The result is a reminder that, though we Lib Dems are doing well in our areas of strength, our vote can by close to non-existent in areas where we have no history of campaigning. But as a pointer to the next general election it has little value.
There was, however, a local by-election yesterday that does look significant from that angle. Last night the Conservatives gained the Rambsbottom ward on Bury Council from Labour.
Mike Smithson writes on Political Betting:
Ramsbottom, where my mother was born, is part of Bury North which was taken by the Tories off Labour at GE2010. It is a seat that EdM really has to win back at GE2015 if his party has any hope of forming a majority.
It is a ward that has a history of hard-fought contests between CON and LAB. In 2011 the two parties tied and LAB was given the seat after lots were drawn.
A key factor in this latest election was the very high number, 60% or so, of postal votes which is vey good indicator of local party organisation.
So a very good result for the Tories and a very bad one for Labour.