The political class is preparing for long months of hard pounding and constant tension. Yet if you believed the opinion polls, the tension would be unnecessary. Surely Labour has a large enough lead to guarantee success? But few people appear to believe that. Paradoxically, it seems easier to discover Tories who think that it is all over than comfortable optimists in Labour ranks.

In the run-up to the 1997 Election, the then Labour MP Austin Mitchell – always good company – said that his Party could sleep-walk its way to power. He was proved right. But hardly anyone in Labour circles talks that way today. On the Labour body politic, the scars of previous defeats cut deep. Equally, everyone remembers that Theresa May went into her election with a seventeen-point lead, against Jeremy Corbyn. If the Grenfell Tower fire had been a week earlier, there would have been a hung Parliament.