Little in British politics can currently be predicted with confidence, but we can be reasonably sure we are heading for a General Election. The exact timing is far from clear, and dependent on just how exquisitely Parliament decides to torture the Prime Minister, but the status quo cannot hold for long.

When it does arrive the next poll will not be like a standard General Election. Superficially of course much will stay the same. It will predominantly be contested by candidates from the usual parties, wearing rosettes bathed in their traditional colours. But dig a little deeper and the stakes will be vastly greater.