Via the Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/feb/14/wythenshawe-byelection-cameron-denies-ukip-breakthrough
Ukip did not make the breakthrough it hoped for in the Wythenshawe and Sale East byelection even though the Conservatives were pushed into third place, David Cameron has suggested.
The prime minister said he was not particularly surprised that Labour took the seat easily and brushed off the embarrassment of being beaten by the UK Independence party, arguing that byelections are a vehicle for protest votes.
Labour's Mike Kane sailed to victory with 55% of the vote on a turnout of 28% which was depressed by the weather and expectations of an easy win for the party.
The Tory candidate, 26-year-old vicar Daniel Critchlow, received just 14% of the vote, while Ukip's John Bickley achieved almost 18% – five times more than the party's share in 2010.
Speaking on ITV, Cameron said: "Well obviously, the Wythenshawe byelection, which is a very safe Labour seat, there was never much doubt about the result. When people know there's a byelection, they know the government isn't going to change, that obviously messages and signals are sent and protests are made and government should always listen to those things and I always do.
More at link.
Wythenshawe is a weird place. Part old neighborhood, part bedroom community for the University of Manchester.
UoM is well known for being socialist (in parts - the med school and engineering school are pretty conservative), and an old industrial neighborhood in the North of England is going to go Labour 99% of the time. I am both surprised and concerned at UKIP doing so well.