Nevertheless, it is time to stop laughing. The results are bad for the Cleggerons but not that good for the rest of us. First of all, as ever, over 60 per cent stayed away from the polling booths, saying, in effect, a plague upon all your houses. By all, they meant all, even the small parties. I find it hard to understand that people prefer not to cast their votes at all to casting them for a non-main stream party but that is the situation and it is not a happy one. If we ever have that in/out referendum (not under this government but it might happen one day) how many people will decide that they can't be bothered to cast their vote?
Secondly, UKIP did well but not quite well enough. It got 2,953 votes and as an American friend and supporter said to me, the gap between that and Labour's 14,724 is just too depressing. Not unexpected for Barnsley, I replied, without adding that a three-legged stool with a red rosette would win there.
However, coming a distant second in a by-election and even being, possibly, the biggest party in Brussels in 2014 as Ed West says in today's Telegraph is not enough to make a real difference either to the political structure of this country or to introduce a real debate about freedom, democracy and sovereignty. We have a long way to go and campaigns for a referendum that we might or might not win is not the right way. Neither is a change to the AV system.