The journalist Patrick Wintour made the telling point on Twitter that Labour's by-election loss is Copeland was not the inevitable result of a 20-year decline that started with New Labour.
But the records tell a different story since New Labour managed to increase the party's share of the vote from 44% with Michael Foot to 58% under Tony Blair's leadership
Labour Copeland vote
44% - 1983 (Michael Foot) 47% - 1987 (Neil Kinnock) 49% - 1992 (Neil Kinnock) 58% - 1997 (Tony Blair)
52% - 2001 (Tony Blair)
51% - 2005 (Tony Blair) 46% - 2010 (Gordon Brown) 42% - 2015 (Ed Miliband) 37% - 2017 (Jeremy Corbyn)
As Patrick Winter observed:
"Funny how these graphs start in 1997 to allow the Left comfort itself that New Labour caused Copeland. How did Lab reach 1997 peak?"
Meanwhile Team Corbyn continues to delude itself that the party's leader is not major obstacle in its fight to become politically relevant again.