David McWilliams: The UK’s next prime minister could be its last

The Conservative Party has abandoned metropolitan England. This is a huge change

The five remaining candidates to succeed Theresa May as British prime minister partake in a live televised debate, clashing over Brexit and the Irish Border. Video: BBC/Reuters

Great political parties can and do disappear. It is a fact of history. The Irish Home Rule Party disappeared in 1918. Around the same time the Liberal Party, the party of Gladstone, began to atrophy, and was ultimately eclipsed by the Labour Party.

In both cases, great events – the 1916 Rising and the first World War – changed politics forever in their respective countries. In the UK the Liberals were destroyed by the Labour Party, who reframed 20th-century politics as a battle between workers and capitalists.

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