The LibDems did well to increase their vote and keep the Tories in third, but this was a characteristic bye-election surge and you know it will not be repeated. Poor Ming did well but not well enough.
The Tories must be in despair. Despite neither seat being particularly fertile territory, they must have assumed that they were in a strong position to come second, and maybe have a significant swing from Labour. Instead, they got whipped.
Labour must be mighty relieved that the swings against them weren't bigger and that they kept the opposition at arm's length. The results can in no way be characterised as a 'success' but they were much less bad than many had predicted.
I am now convinced that planning is underway for an early election in February or March of 2008, which Gordon Brown will see as his way to obtain a personal mandate from the country. I think he will probably win if that happens, and then Brown will drive ahead his own personal agenda - whatever that may be.
With a major spending review imminent, it would make sense to get the election victory under his belt before the cuts bite. The inevitable cuts will (I prophesy) affect the Scottish budget significantly and cause the SNP problems in delivering it's promises, but this will be an unexpected outcome of Brown's plans. That's 'unexpected' as in 'that'll teach them'.