Crewe: By-elections don't change governments. However, how parties react to by-elections can change governments.
The self-proclaimed "heir to Blair" is trying to use the Crewe and Nantwich result to declare New Labour dead and at the same time he is trying to claim leadership of the Blair coalition for himself.
"I think what happened was that, for Labour, it was the end of being the party of aspiration, it was the end of being the party of opportunity: it was the end of New Labour."
David Cameron knows that what brought him victory this morning was the willingness of non-Tories to give him a chance or, at least, to lend him their vote. Expect him to continue his strategy of "love bombing" (as they call it in Tory HQ) those who traditionally protest by voting Lib Dem.
Gordon Brown's response has been a version of that old Clinton cliche "It's the economy, stupid". He's promising action to relieve the financial pressure voters are feeling. One cabinet minister told me that he's got to stop talking about the need for "a five-year tractor plan" and promising that "whatever happens you get tractors" - in other words, less talk about the long term and more action now.
The danger for the prime minister is this. If, once he's told people he's listening, and once he's told them he feels their hurt, and once he takes action, things don't get better for Labour some may conclude that "It's the leadership, stupid". Another cabinet minister shocked me by comparing Mr Brown with Michael Foot and expressing regret that the party had never had the courage to remove Foot.
There will be no leadership challenge now. There may never be one. If, however, Gordon Brown doesn't learn the right lessons from this by-election he would be unwise to assume that no-one would dare try.