So much of what now appears inevitable could have been very different – at least in the short term.
From Wilson to Major, and from general elections to devolution referendums, the beautiful game has played an important role for decades.
If the establishment had really been as efficiently conspiratorial as it was supposed to be, there would have been no need for his amateurish plot.
How a unique combination of Heath and Powell saw the Tories swept to power from Sheffield to Lambeth.
Looking back, 55 years of Liberal and Liberal Democrat by-election success looks less important than UKIP’s two-year surge.
The Tories often appear to have been more worried about enfranchising working-class men than ladies of property.
Clearing up the last few pieces of formal political inequality has taken a century, but every step was taken under a Conservative or Coalition government.
It seems strange to think of Thatcher’s last triumph as the twilight of a Tory century, but that is how it now appears to electoral history.
In the best of all worlds, standards would be upheld voluntarily. But in the world we have, we seem to need rules – and sometimes to extend them.
The former Labour MP’s defection, and the later split within that party, has not yet found in a parallel in our own turbulent times.
Two cheers for a measure that, though mostly about managing, dividing and taming popular opinion, remains a reforming landmark.
And those that never were, such as 1978, 1991 and 2007. Prime Ministers tend to make the opposite error to that of their predecessors.
The shock over the overall result has distracted us from how remarkable some of each party’s gains really were.
The governments of the 1930s illustrate how little a huge majority is worth if it isn’t married to a strong and imaginative policy programme.