One psephologist has passed on to me the information that Ed Miliband’s victory in Gravesham – the scene of his walkabout on Friday - was not quite as ringing as the Labour leader might have hoped.
UPDATE: But it appears that he is not necessarily right*.
Gravesham was one of Labour’s brighter spots in the local elections, as the party won back 8 seats and control of the council. The Tories lost 8 seats.
What’s interesting, however, is that counting the votes on the council website (it may take rather a while) suggests that the Tories won 15,151 and Labour picked up 13,549. So much for a major comeback.
* In fact, as a hawk-eyed reader has pointed out, the Tories got 48 per cent and Labour got 49 per cent. My source got to his figure by counting the total votes of the 44 councillors (and not those who didn’t get elected.) Which is not quite the same thing.
For a full breakdown of the argument see the extensive comments below.
Incidentally – and I wouldn’t read too much into this – Nick Hewer, Lord Sugar’s “Apprentice” sidekick, tells today’s Guardian that Ed Miliband has “the weakest handshake in western Europe.” Not that he likes the other party leaders either: “Ex-Cambridge policy wonks. Waste of time.”