It is a measure of how fast political control is slipping away from the elites that, over a period of just four days, the Irish government was heavily defeated in two referenda designed to progress its liberal agenda, the right-wing Chega party increased its number of parliamentary seats from 12 to 48 in the Portuguese general election and Lee Anderson defected from the Conservative Party to Reform UK.

So far as any element of surprise attended these three events, Anderson’s defection was hardly unexpected, only the scale of Chega’s success was startling, but the No/No landslide in the two Irish referenda was a huge surprise to the elites promoting constitutional change.