The former Labour MP’s defection, and the later split within that party, has not yet found in a parallel in our own turbulent times.
Two cheers for a measure that, though mostly about managing, dividing and taming popular opinion, remains a reforming landmark.
Churchill saw a century ago that the existing party machines will always prove the stronger, and UKIP and the SDP have confirmed this.
And those that never were, such as 1978, 1991 and 2007. Prime Ministers tend to make the opposite error to that of their predecessors.
During the 1980s, the electoral function of the SDP/Alliance was to help the Conservatives win. This does not necessarily hold true 30 or so years on.
It’s sad in a way, but the quicker Labour is eclipsed and a new leftist party emerges, the better for everyone.
She has expressed admiration for Joe, the ambitious social reformer and staunch unionist, but his sons have their own lessons to teach.
Does the Anglican character of Toryism explain why it’s avoided producing the long and fascinating list of breakaways sported by Labour and the Liberals?
Plus: the Government should not reveal its Brexit negotiating hand. And: should I contest North Norfolk again after all?
None the less, the local Conservatives exploited the climate of prejudice, while Labour sometimes bent to accommodate it.
It was not entirely clear at the time that it had created a new political structure that would last for generations – with the Conservatives as the leading party of the state.
The misuse of the word by American commentators and the Liberal Democrats has led to a fine tradition being neglected.
A further graft from the remnants of Labour and the LibDems might be the best way of preserving the Union and providing an alternative government to the SNP.
The challenge to a Party that holds not a single seat in Merseyside.
The Tory campaign in 1966 was not a success, but neither was it a complete failure. Heath’s warnings of economic troubles ahead were vindicated as early as July.