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The essential literature on the last great landslide

By AC Grayling   June 1997

Does the following sound familiar? “After a long period in office the Tories split badly over a single great question, and were routed at the polls. They had to reinvent themselves under a new leader; and it was some time before they regained office.”

The Tories are a party of regular habits. Survey the record: helplessly divided by catholic emancipation in the 1820s they were unable to respond to agitation for constitutional reform, which came at last in 1832, over what could literally have been their dead bodies. A new Tory coalition, patched by Peel, returned to government in the…

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