As Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes both remember to notice, one man has been conspicuously absent from this morning's aftermath coverage: the Chancellor of the Exchequer is in hiding. Not for the first time, Gordon Brown has found a way to avoid being near a television camera when there's bad news. He remains in purdah. Tony Blair and John Reid have both taken their medicine before the cameras, but there's no sign of our courageous Chancellor.
Can you blame him, mind you? the Conservative gains in the English council elections, which once looked as though they would be merely respectable, now look rather fine. With nearly two dozen councils still to rpeort, the Tories have gained more than 800 seats. Importantly, the Tories have made a little headway in th enorth of England, taking control of councils such as Blackpool and Chester. They're not just a party for the south of England any more, even if their revival north of the Border remains as distant a prospect as ever.
Even allowing for the risks of extrapolating from local results to a general election, the Tories gaining contorl of an extra 35 councils and taking 41% of the vote in England is a more than tidy result. The odds on a Conservative victory in the next UK general election just got shorter. No wonder Gordon is saying nothing, brooding on his fate at home in Fife. Dave Cameron's New Model, Touchy-Feely Tory Party still has "The Big Mo".