I called recently for the Cabinet to tell Johnson that the game is up, and Dowden’s resignation is the closest that any of them have got.
However, the comments from individual voters make it less obvious that these results will predict the next general election.
Though Sue Gray waits in the wings, carrying her scythe and lantern. Will we see her report next week?
We should get a sense of what voters in key electoral battlegrounds are feeling about the main parties. There are some key tests for Labour.
Despite the grubby circumstances in which this contest became necessary, it will be a vital battle ahead of the next general election.
Tory MPs will now get hard evidence of how much political damage Johnson has sustained over Partygate.
Winning in Birmingham and Bury is not enough. Bolton, Peterborough, and Derby are the challenges Labour needs to overcome.
The West of England was a narrow Conservative victory last time. It is likely to be closely fought again.
56 per cent of these voters were persuaded by the Conservatives’ pledge to “Get Brexit done”, compared to 34 per cent of other Tory voters.
This region contains a sizeable clutch of those crucial ‘Labour Leave’ seats through which the Prime Minister is trying to pave his path to an overall majority.
Plus: Will the 21 rebels get the whip back? And: The Tories need younger members, and so does everyone else.
The straight-talking people of Yorkshire would seem to be impatient with the delays and obfuscations over Brexit.