Boundary changes could have altered the makeup of the constituency – this was the first time that they had come into play – but Labour have only themselves to blame for their failure to retake Crewe and Nantwich from the Tories.
And fair play to Edward Timpson: he and his team have worked their socks off to hang on, with the result looking easy for them. So what went wrong for the Red Team?
As I’ve posted previously, there has been very little effort put into the campaign by any challenger: the Lib Dems came third again (at least I got that prediction right) and Roy Wood was more or less invisible. Labour did not, in my part of town (where they and the Lib Dems hold the council seats) make any effort to get the vote out, just as happened in the by-election.
David Williams can have no complaints: he had the backing of his union (Usdaw, not Unite) and the opportunity to re-establish the seat as a moderately safe Labour one. But his campaign was not easily visible, and without some effort and enthusiasm it went nowhere.I expected Labour to win the seat, and got that one wrong. Mea Culpa! And what is worse, Timpson’s re-election does not seem to be registering within the wider news coverage, which is unfair on him and his team.