Against the odds, Labour held the Darlington seat – so saving Michael Foot’s leadership of the Labour Party.
A defeat in Darlington would have quite possibly led to a change in Labour leader, and so at the very least a less disastrous 1983 general election.
So if you were a Labour supporter in Crewe & Nantwich, would you want to vote for Labour and risk prolonging Gordon Brown’s agony? Or vote for someone else in the hope of ending Gordon Brown’s premiership and getting a new Prime Minister in place?
* But, tsk tsk, overlooks that the Liberal Democrats have been arguing for decentralisation – and putting it into practice in local government – long before it became trendy amongst Labour or Conservative politicians to talk about the topic.