Oppositions are normally expected to win seats they are defending comfortably. What went wrong with Labour in Batley and Spen? A 7% drop in their share of the vote compared to the general election (and Labour's share was down 12.7% compared to the 2017 general election). A majority slashed by 90%, down to 323. In a sign of Labour desperation, Labour were spinning this as a great result. In reality, it is a demonstration that Labour are in serious trouble.
When Starmer became Labour leader, my assumption was that he would be a voice of reason who could pull together a shattered Labour party after the lunacy of the Corbyn years. I was wrong. His leadership may not be questioned in the immediate future but his hold on it may be under threat once the Batley and Spen dust has settled. Starmer may well survive a future challenge but his party under his leadership is failing in its principle task - to be the opposition to the government.