Twitter reacts as the Conservatives are humiliated by a Lib Dem win in Eastleigh

  • @MsEllenEJones

A difficult week for the Liberal Democrats has come to a triumphant end today: Nick Clegg's party have held on to their seat in the Eastleigh by-election. Also celebrating are UKIP, who pushed the Conservatives into third place with their best-ever performance in a Westminster election. So what's the instant analysis on Twitter?

It's good for the Lib Dems...

@nick_clegg: Congratulations Mike4Eastleigh: welcome to the team! We're on track for 2015 now.

@oliver_wright: Clegg says - with glee - that he will leave it to the Tories to explain their 'very poor showing' in Eastleigh

But let's not get carried away with ourselves...

@OwenJones84: Lib Dems are crowing about scraping a seat that, if they can't win, they can't win anywhere lessonsfromeastleigh

@DanHannanMEP: Look on the bright side. The Eastleigh result has probably sentenced the Lib Dems to two more years of Nick Clegg as leader.

Clearly this is bad for the Tories....

@tom_watson: The single most important conclusion from tonight: David Cameron has never won a general election. If he can't win Eastleigh he never will.

@BBCAllegra: There's footage of Hutchings departing last night refusing questions. Not surprised: some Tories ditched count while she was still on stage.

..but which way forward?

@TimMontgomerie: My Eastleigh verdict: Cameronism is still ill-defined

@ChrisBryantMP: I see Sarah Palin not only lost but came third in eastleigh. Tories will probably choose more Palins, but would do better with fewer.

And what does it mean for UKIP?

@krishgm [Krishnan Guru-Murthy]: So no Eastleigh lessons judging from interviews for Con/Lab/Lib Dems. But UKIP learn a protest vote by-election win is possible

@paulwaugh: Pattern of recent UKIP Parliamentary by-elections: Corby 14%, Rotherham 22%, Eastleigh 27%. No wonder they talk of a 'surge'.

@johnprescott: Remarkable! Tory leaflet using UKIP colours to get votes! (via stevenmorris20desperateEastleigh