When it comes to Brexit, Tories and Labour are often accused of trying to have their cake and eat it.
Both are gripped by internal contests that make Bake Off look like a picnic.
Most Tories want Brexit, but can’t decide whether to crash out or bind to Brussels. Labour officially wants soft Brexit, but plenty of MPs and members don’t want Brexit at all.
For years now, each leader has tried to appease both sides of a warring party by toeing a careful path down the middle.
In last night’s European elections, the Brexit cake finally collapsed in the oven.
And the doughy gloop of support slid out in two directions – either to vehement pro-Brexit parties, or parties that are vehemently against it.
As the sun rises yet again on a divided, polarised country, prepare for MPs to launch an almighty spat about which direction the dough slid.
For the Tories, the argument’s pretty simple. Theresa May’s party is the Brexit Party that hasn’t delivered Brexit. It seems fair to assume many voters – though by no means all – defected to Farage.
It’s for Labour that the argument is the most bitter.
MPs in Leave-voting heartlands will argue their votes went to Nigel Farage. And they’re probably right.
Labour MPs in metropolitan areas like London will argue their votes went to the Lib Dems. And they’re probably right too.
So as both sides seize on the figures to prove they’re right, it’s important to understand exactly how the cake slumped, and what happened on the night.
You can read the full results here, and below is a summary of 9 things we learned.
1. Tories suffered their worst result ‘since 1832’
It really is impossible to overstate how ridiculously terribly the result is for the Tories.
The Conservatives suffered their worst election result for almost 200 years as resigning Theresa May was annihilated in the EU elections.
With every British region declared except Scotland, Brexit civil war finally obliterated the party of government.
It won less than 9% of the vote – landing in fifth place behind the Greens – and lost 15 of 18 seats.
The BBC suggested it was the worst result since 1832. But Brexiteer MEP Daniel Hannan, one of just three Tories remaining in England and Wales, disagreed.
He pointedly said it was the “worst ever”.
2. The Brexit Party stormed to a landslide
The Brexit Party looked to have picked up virtually all the hardest of Brexit votes, winning 33.2% across England and Wales and 28 seats.
Anti-gay former Tory Ann Widdecombe triumphed in the South West and Jacob Rees-Mogg’s sister Annunziata was elected in the East Midlands. In both those regions the Tories’ seats were completely wiped out.
“If we don’t leave on October 31 then the scores you’ve seen for the Brexit Party today will be repeated in a general election,” he said.
“And we are getting ready for it.”
EU elections are of course a protest vote – but that won’t stop a chill going down the spines of Tories hearing that message.
3. But Lib Dems were the other big winners of the night
This was in no way solely a story of Brexit winning the night.
The Lib Dems had the best night in history in many areas, recovering from an admittedly catastrophic low point in 2014.
The party enjoyed an incredible 14-point surge to 21% and rocketed their seat tally from 1 to 15.
The ‘bollocks to Brexit’ party even topped the bill in London – including in Jeremy Corbyn’s back yard of Islington.
In a statement, Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said: “Our clear, honest, unambiguous message has won us our best ever European election result, and pushed Corbyn’s Labour into third place.
“We have shown ourselves to be the strongest Remain force in British politics.”
4. And Stop Brexit parties officially BEAT Hard Brexit parties
‘Stop Brexit’ parties got MORE votes in the European elections than Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, final results for England and Wales reveal.
Despite the Brexit Party’s thumping victory, the full results show solidly pro-EU parties beat parties that want to crash out with no deal on October 31.
With all British regions counted except Scotland, the Lib Dems had won 20.9%, the Greens won 12.5% and Change UK won 3.6%.
That meant the three biggest anti-Brexit parties won 37% of the vote – compared to 35.7% for UKIP and the Brexit Party put together.
UKIP won 3.5% of the vote while Nigel Farage’s outfit won 33.2%.
The fact that Hard Remain ‘won’ over Hard Brexit, yet trailed so far in the results, shows how failing to have a unity party has punished campaigners at the ballot box.
5. Labour is embroiled in a new Brexit row
Happily, ballot papers don’t come with a 40-page questionnaire delving into your personal existential crisis in politics.
So we will never be able to prove how voters switched the way they did.
But Labour has erupted into a fresh Brexit row nonetheless after the party came third behind the Lib Dems and Brexit Party.
As ever the argument is over whether voters flocked to Hard Brexit, Hard Remain – or both.
Labour’s leader faced fresh calls to come out fully against Brexit after Labour’s vote share in England and Wales plummeted more than 10 points to 14.6%, and the party lost eight of 18 seats.
Former Tony Blair advisor Alastair Campbell has revealed he did NOT vote Labour – for the first time in his life – and voted Lib Dem instead.
Furious Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry – who is Mr Corbyn’s constituency neighbour in Islington – said Labour got a “kicking” because the party “weren’t clear” on Brexit.
In a blunt message to Jeremy Corbyn , she demanded the Labour leader swing fully behind a second referendum on Brexit.
Jeremy Corbyn issued a midnight statement, but it did not commit to a second referendum – only to either going to the public with a referendum, OR holding a general election.
Mr Corbyn did however promise “conversations across the party divide” to find a way forward.
6. The Green surge is real – and reflected across Europe
Elsewhere the Greens enjoyed a surge that was reflected by eco-parties across the continent, including in France, Germany and Ireland.
They more than doubled their seat tally to 7, including a win for Magid Magid, a former refugee who became Lord Mayor of Sheffield aged 29 and “banned” Donald Trump from the city.
Magid branded the US President a ‘wasteman’ and barred him Sheffield during his time as Mayor of the city. The councillor, whose mother fled to Britain from war-torn Somalia when he and his siblings were children, is opposed to Trump’s views on immigration.
Overall an early projection showed the Greens/European Free Alliance group would pick up 70 of the 751 seats across the 28 EU nations – up 20 since 2014.
Germany’s Greens came second behind Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in the election.
7. Tommy Robinson and the far right got Müllered
Far right extremist Stephen Yaxley Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, failed spectacularly in his bid to join the European Parliament.
Robinson, 36, became known to the public after co-founding right wing activist group the English Defence League (EDL).
He stood as an independent candidate in the North West, winning just 38,908 votes – prompting laughter when the result was read out in Manchester.
That amounts to 2.2% which means he loses his deposit.
He tried to blame social media sites for banning him over his views.
The Brexit Party won more than 541,000 while the Liberal Democrats took almost 300,000.
8. And UKIP were wiped out
Ukip lost all of its MEPs in the European Parliament, despite topping the voting figures in 2014.
The pro-Leave party’s support collapsed after the insurgent Brexit Party came top of the polls in England and Wales, picking up 28 MEPs.
Ukip leader Gerard Batten lost his seat in London, which he had held since 2004.
The party’s YouTuber candidate Carl Benjamin, second on the party’s South West regional list, also failed to get elected after making jokes about rape.
9. But Change UK look doomed too
Change UK only just scraped a higher vote share than UKIP, finishing sixth in England and Wales with zero seats and a measly 3.6%.
Its launch with Labour and Tory defectors enjoyed a blaze of publicity in February but fell flat after a string of high-profile gaffes.
Leader Heidi Allen confessed the fledgling party could now collapse and its members plead to join the Lib Dems.
She said: “I think we have to learn.
“We have done really well from a standing start, but clearly the prize is the country’s future and we have to look at what went well, what went badly for us.
“And I think we need to work with other right-minded parties like us that are pushing for Remain.
“Because the country has to come first, it is not about the brand, we must come together.”