Labour's chances of scoring an early retaliation after the Chancellor's grim pre-Budget statement were dashed by its failure to field candidates in this week's council by-elections.
Four out of five runners in the two contests were from coalition Government parties.
The only exception was one from the English Democrats who came second at Rayleigh Central, Rochford District, Essex.
Liberal Democrats slumped into third and last place there but this was balanced by a big swing to them at Somerset County Council's Brent division.
There are normally few council by-elections in December with politics finding it hard to compete with Christmas.
Just one has been reported for next week and nine in the rest of the month although there will also be a Commons contest at Feltham and Heston on December 15.
Rochford District - Rayleigh Central: C 406, English Democrats 218, Lib Dem 117. (May 2010 - C 1242, Lib Dem 702, English Democrats 328). C hold. Swing 7.4% C to English Democrats.
Somerset County - Brent: C 1285, Lib Dem 932. (June 2009 - C 2108, Lib Dem 744, Lab 162). C hold. Swing 14.6% C to Lib Dem.