The third placed party in by-elections always gets their vote squeezed … [and] …
I cannot remember a by-election in the last ten years where the third party has not had its vote squeezed.
So here are fourteen by-elections since 1997 that must have slipped his mind:
Dunfermline (where the SNP were third)
Birmingham Hodge Hill
Paisley South (ok, I admit – I had forgotten this one until I looked it up)
I do have some sympathy for MPs who have to appear in the media after a bad result for their party and talk it up nonethless. But maybe next time the Conservatives shouldn’t use such a forgetful MP…
(No jokes about poor memory explaining using 1234 as your password please).
PS Those marked with a * were the ones where the Tories were the third party and increased their vote. So it wasn’t just a slip of the tounge with him meaning to limit his comments to Conservative third places only.