Heywood and Middleton was somewhat more interesting. The results in full...
By-election 2010 Gen elect Labour 11,633 41% 18,499 40% UKIP 11,016 36% 1,215 3% Con 3,496 12% 12,528 27% Lib Dem 1,457 5% 10,474 23% Green 870 3% - none -Now the turnout was only 36% - half that of the 2010 general election - and informed opinion has it that low turn outs affect Labour most, Tories less so, and UKIP hardly at all.
If only those Tory voters had gone over to UKIP they would have taken the constituency.
The conclusions are really just what we already knew:
The Lib Dems have been wiped out. They betrayed their supporters by putting the Tories into office. Come the next general election they will be lucky to have 10 MPs.
The Conservatives are hemorrhaging support to UKIP. They MUST do a deal with Farrage to have any chance of staying in government after 2015.
UKIP are rampant at the moment, but come 2015 Labour may be the big winners, by the back door of UKIP and the Tories not having done a deal.