Yesterday there was a by-election in the Olton ward in Solihull, causes by the sad death of Cllr Honor Cox last year. This has been a Liberal Democrat stronghold in recent years and their candidate, although resident in Walsall, works for Lorely Burt, whose office is actually in the ward.
This should be an easy win for the Lib Dems - the majority is typically 1100-1200 votes over the Tory candidate on a 40% turnout. Last night, on a very respectable 30% by-election turnout, the Liberal Democrats held onto the seat by a majority of 9 - after a recount. Now, that's still a win, but what is clear is that the normally reliable Liberal Democrat support did not materialise - it stayed away and allowed a Tory swing of 8%.
Although this was an ultra-narrow win, it will offer no comfort to Lorely Burt. Her majority is a thin 175, only a sixth of the votes lost yesterday.
May will be intriguing.
UPDATE: Dom draws my attention to an interesting last minute leaflet from the Liberal Democrats, mimicking a Tory 'apology.' How desperate are they that they have to run this little stunt? By the way, if any Solihull LibDems can identify the alleged Tory 'smears', I'd be interested to know, as Praguetory denies that there were any.