Although the Evening Standard headlines its coverage of the Ealing Southall By-election with "Body blow for Cameron at the polls" its editorial is less dramatic. It calls the result "a big disappointment for the Conservatives" but says "This has to be considered a negative verdict on the Tories’s controversial candidate Tony Lit" noting that the "photograph of him with a smiling Tony Blair cannot have impressed Southall voters".
The Standard highlights the disappointment of the Lib Dems who have failed, for the first time since 1990, to win a seat in a by-election where they started in second place after the governing party.
But it says the lessons are for the Conservative Party:
"Discontented activists will treat the result as a negative verdict on Mr Cameron’s approach and put pressure on him to return to the traditional Right-wing territory of crime and immigration. But it is not clear that such an approach would have helped in one of Britain’s most diverse constituencies, where about half the population is of Asian origin, along with all the major party candidates. Mr Cameron must hold his nerve and resist siren calls from traditionalists."