I think my general advice after any setback has always been "don't panic", and this is what I would offer to the Labour leadership today.
Last night's results were a contrast. Labour is struggling in the polls, and it therefore cannot surprise anyone that both Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent Central would provide s stiff challenge. In the end the challenge in Copeland proved too much.
Whilst advising against panic I would suggest that things need to be addressed. Distilled to what I believe is the simplest I think we need to concentrate on one thing, and that is our polling. We cannot hope to be truly competitive in any contest when we trail the Tories by 18%, with our vote languishing at 26%. These numbers make huge numbers of seats at all levels very vulnerable indeed.
Of course, this simple solution is actually quite complicated, but one thing stands out: we have to be united. I have been quite critical of Corbyn during both of his leadership contests, but he is not going anywhere. Besides, any replacement is likely to come from the same wing of the party (unless the left can be excluded from the ballot paper, which I think would be inadvisable). Those of us who are moderates have to find common ground with the left, and there is actually much in common anyway.
Jeremy Corbyn has to be better. I think he has improved since his re-election, but it is still a work in progress. Like it or not, he does come across as being slow to react at times, and looks somewhat detached from ordinary lives. His media team have got to up their game.
It is not all bad. Labour's Stoke result was respectable, and whilst we lost Copeland it was close enough for local activists to have something to work on for next time.
9.8% Liberal Democrat
At 36.7% one could describe the turnout as poor. The Labour vote share dropped by 2.2%, which is more or less the rise in the UKIP vote .Amongst the other parties I was pleased to see that the OMRLP beat the BNP.
The Tories finishing third behind UKIP (which is a mirror of 2015) should concern them. I do not see UKIP disappearing any time soon. However, UKIP are taking Labour votes, and our leadership needs to address the concerns of those who are deserting us.
7.3% Liberal Democrat
This was not really a true marginal, and should have been won by Labour. However, it wasn't, and lessons will have to be learned. At 51.3% the turnout was not awful, especially against the backdrop of Storm Doris. If Labour gets its act together this should be re-taken at the next General Election.