WHAT is happening to British politics? Does anyone seriously think the LibDems will form the next government? Does anyone really want them to?

And yet they won a stunning by-election victory in Buckinghamshire yesterday. It was a huge turnaround that may get them a little better known.

But there are fascinating pointers for the two main parties. The British people still seem very interested in voting against whoever is in power – in Chesham and Amersham, the Tories were accused of taking the voters “for granted” and so they lost, which is exactly the same accusation that the North-East levelled against Labour and so it lost up here.

Can Boris Johnson, though, continue to appeal to his new areas of support – like our red wall – while still holding onto the southern Tory heartland, which Chesham and Amersham represents? The south won’t like levelling up if it sees areas like Darlington getting all the benefits.

Yet Labour, having lost Hartlepool, is not even making headway in this more remain-inclined seat. It got 1.6 per cent of the vote when it should, if it wants to form the next government, be seen as the acceptable alternative to the Tories.

Sadly, the only opposition to Mr Johnson at the moment seems to be Dominic Cummings.

These are strange, unpredictable political times, but if it goes wrong for Labour in Batley and Spen, the chap leading the party – we’ve momentarily forgotten his name – will be in serious trouble.