Britain’s Tories are arguably the most successful political party of the modern age. The Conservatives have ruled Britain more than 50 of the 90 years since 1929 (the country’s first election with equal suffrage for men and women). But this week, we watched the beginning of the end of the Conservative Party as we have known it.

Like most enduring parties, the Tories have embraced many different factions and ideologies over the years. But in the post-World War II era, they were defined by an advocacy of free markets and traditional values — a combination that was brought to its climax in the person of Margaret Thatcher, the Tories’ most effective prime minister since Winston Churchill.

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