The seat left vacated by the resignation of Jamie Reed last month had been red since its creation in 1983 and the last Conservative MP to represent this area (previously Whitehaven) was born in 1879.
It is the first by-election gain by a governing party since 1982.
Corbyn was stoic in defeat.
But many suggested the defeat was yet another sign of the divisiveness of Corbyn’s leadership...
Some were placing blame before the results had even been announced.
Why did Labour lose? Well, here are a few suggestions.
1) THE BLAIRITES
Popular one this.
Even Corbyn’s inner circle apparently went with it.
Which didn’t quite make sense.
2) THE MEDIA
3) THE POLLS
4) IT WASN’T EVEN A DEFEAT BUT AN ‘INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT’ AND A VICTORY AGAINST FASCISM
5) JAMIE REED
Hang on a a sec.
7) THERE WAS ONE OTHER SUGGESTION....
The Conservatives increased their vote share by more than 8% in Copeland, while Labour’s was down by nearly 5%.
Trudy Harrison, who snatched victory by 2,147 votes, said her win showed “the people are ready for change”.
She told Sky News: “I think we ran an extremely positive campaign and it was a campaign that represented the needs of this area.
“And I know this area because I have lived here all of my life.
“I think that, and the combination of Jeremy Corbyn’s views on nuclear in an area which is so dependent on Sellafield and on Moorside, contributed to my win tonight.”
In her victory speech, Harrison said the result was a “truly historic event”.
She said: “It’s been very clear talking to people throughout this campaign that Jeremy Corbyn doesn’t represent them.
“They want a party which is on the side of ordinary working people, which will respect the way we voted in the referendum and which will build a country which represents everyone. That’s why they voted for me tonight.”