What did the by election tell the parties?
Good of Manchester council to announce the huge redundancies next door to Oldham just in time to get it in peoples' minds at the ballot box. I personally doubt that it was an influence for most people, although the lib dems reckon it was. Just sour grapes to me.
What it did do, in an area of high unemployment and most decent wage earners being in the public sector, (Dir Public Health report, 2008-9,) was indicate that the coalition partners have not made as many enemies as you would expect. Labour and the fringe parties would have walked it between them if the government was held in the low esteem some commentators would have you think.
I am not a supporter of the coalition and think Osborne is taking a gamble on the private sector's ability to find employment for lots and lots of public sector workers. I also have a view that pump priming the economy can be a good gamble if managed well, so I am not in tune with present Whitehall thinking, but two things spring to mind, and I wonder how many in the by election thought similar?
1. Is there a credible alternative yet?
2. Is it possible to like the destination whilst having issues with the chosen journey?