It used to be widely accepted that this was a conservative country that occasionally voted Labour.

No-one is making that claim today and a couple of historical precedents are sending shivers down the spine – where a backbone exists – of the Tory Party.

The Liberals won a landslide victory in 1906 and went to near extinction within twenty years.

Even more dramatically – the Canadian conservatives went from having a comfortable majority to being reduced to a near invisible two seats in 1993.

What these examples show is that no party has a God given right to rule for ever and a bit more historical analysis comes up with two uncomfortable truths for the Tories.

Firstly – a party must stand for something and when it ceases to even believe in itself and is reduced to merely claiming to be “not the other lot” then the soul and spirit drains away and only a few careerists and blind loyalists remain.

The Conservatives seem to me to be incapable of conserving anything and once they went through their ridiculous “hug a husky“ phase they gradually descended into a pale blue blancmange wobbling from side to side and not offering anything that might solve the deep underlying problems that beset the nation.

The general impression is that nothing works, that hard work is not rewarded, that woke rules, there are no borders and lawlessness spreads like a widening pool of blood on the pavement.

Looking to the Tories for answers to these examples of a systemic national failure is futile for if they don’t even believe in themselves then how can they persuade anyone else to do so?

The other precondition for an extinction event is the existence of an alternative and here is where it gets both interesting for the neutral and corrosive for the conservative.

Today there does exist an alternative and while there may be some slight drift from Tories to Labour the real threat to what was once the most successful political party in Europe comes from a party which actually embodies the confidence and conviction that once characterised the former party of the right.

In the examples above there was a Labour party that provided an alternative to the Liberals but – rather ominously – the party in Canada that replaced the Conservatives was called Reform.

There used to be clear blue water between Labour and Conservatives – one side believed in the supremacy of market forces and of the individual over the collective. One believed that low taxation trumped public services and the other supported public ownership over personal profiteering.

As the Tories slip and slide towards an ill-defined middle ground a nation can be forgiven for looking away from a weak latte coffee towards a pint of something rather stronger and stimulating.

Labour is also on the move and today’s party with its support for doubling the nuclear submarine fleet and getting serious about immigration is a long way from a party that once seemed to believe that a few slogans at Glastonbury were a viable alternative to a grounded and costed political manifesto but their problems are as nothing compared to what may well be an existential threat to the Conservative and Unionist Party.

They have written off the so called “red wall” that Boris Johnson won so convincingly but now face losing the red trouser wall that once held sway throughout the south of England. Is this the end for the Tories?

Is euthanasia an option and will it be a bowl of Cheerios on the breakfast table in Downing Street?

Until very recently the answer would be in the negative as the conservatives seemed to be able to morph and regenerate like Doctor Who in a pin stripe suit. No more.

With Reform soaring and conservative self-belief sinking there is now a very real possibility of a seismic realignment in UK politics.