The Conservative Party was almost completely united on Europe until the very late 1980s, when Margaret Thatcher seemed to swap sides in what we now know to have been an early manifestation of her dementia. Since then, the two sides have fought for control of the party, although with the pro-EU side almost invariably the winner.
By contrast, almost since British membership was first mooted in the 1950s, the Labour Party has continuously been split from top to bottom on Europe, with every shade of opinion on the subject to be found at every level of the party at any given time.
Today, we have seen yet another consequence of the first state of affairs, although that consequence has only just begun to be played out. And in the early hours of Monday morning, we shall begin to see yet another consequence of the second state of affairs, too.
Another hung Parliament is coming, however, and we need our people to hold the balance of power in it. It has become a local commonplace that I am on 30-30-30 with Labour and the Conservatives here at North West Durham, so that any one of us could be the First Past the Post. I will stand for this seat, if I can raise the £10,000 necessary to mount a serious campaign. Please email email@example.com. Very many thanks.