Peterborough is a place I don't know. I have been there once, many years ago, for a Lib Dem training event. I have passed through on the train hundreds of times when I used to go to London most weeks. From the train I could see the prison on one side and the cathedral on the other. Yesterday however it was on our radar screens as we awaited the much trumpeted Brexit Party's victory to win their first seat in Parliament. Except, it never happened! It was another of those occasions in which a few votes made the difference between a political earthquake and a footnote in history.
Labour are behaving as if they have just won a general election, which only goes to show what a dire state they are in. In normal political times, the main opposition should be looking to hold seats it had won marginally with majorities more akin to those in safe seats. Winning by the skin of their teeth with a 17% drop in vote share hardly inspires confidence.
The Lib Dems put in a creditable performance in a constituency which previously saw us win only 3% of the vote. 9% increase is welcome.
Overall, the result is something of a curate's egg. The good parts are: the Brexit Party did not win, the Lib Dem vote improved, Labour performed poorly but not too poorly to risk Corbyn's leadership (he is a vote winner at the moment but for the Lib Dems, not Labour).
The bad part is that the Brexit Party nearly won and Labour's victory means they will continue to have Leaver Corbyn at the helm, blocking a confirmatory referendum.
So definitely mixed news from Peterborough.