Labour have very little to crow about
There is very little for Labour to crow about in this by-election result.
While it is true that Labour were 6 percentage points above the Liberal Democrats and therefore took the election it is no time to get complacent as the biggest gains were had by their now close rivals the Liberal Democrats. With a greater than 50% drop in turn out from the 2007 full elections Labours lack of significant change in votes indicates that they along with the conservatives could face the prospect of playing second fiddle to, among others, Independent Councillors and the Liberal Democrats.
While the biggest loss comes from the Conservative Party's share where 50% of the votes from 2007 (overall results) were not retained Labour failed to gain from that. Instead the gains were shared almost exclusively by Independent and Liberal Democrats with the hitherto unpopular Lib Dems scooping the lions share. This information is available to anyone with an internet connection.
Clive Heart might well feel that he has done well and passed his "first test as leader" (TDC Press Release) but all that Labour have managed is to not drop the ball. Far more significant is the gains that the Liberal Democrats have managed to make with a showing that was almost certainly made up of the most loyal and the most determined to vote.
Even so only 17% of Dane Valley voted on the matter meaning that 83% didn't know, didn't want to know or could not care less about any of the candidates. This is indeed the most damning result of Dane Valley where the coalition of trusting someone, faith that your vote counts and the need to stay home trounced democracy by a massive margin.
The only true winner of this by-election was the "couldn't give a bollocks mate" un-party. Just as it was in 2007.