I was interviewed on Radio Sputnik yesterday (you can listen to the clip HERE), and I happened to hear the item that was on before me, which contained the startling suggestion that a No Deal Brexit won't come about because of pressure from the Brexit Party, but instead because the Brexit Party actually wins an election and forms a government. Now I don't want to alarm anyone unduly, but consider the following...
* Even before the European elections, the Brexit Party was just one point off the outright lead in a poll of Westminster voting intentions.
* With the momentum from Sunday night's result, it's perfectly possible (and arguably highly likely) that polls will be published in the coming days showing the Brexit Party with a lead for Westminster.
* The Peterborough by-election is still to come, and looks like a shoo-in for the Brexit Party. That'll be a sensational outcome in what should be a Labour-Tory marginal, and could be one of those iconic by-election results that decisively change the political weather (think Hamilton '67, Govan '73 or Darlington '83).
* Some snowball effects just keep rolling. In 2015 it was unthinkable that Jeremy Corbyn was going to maintain his lead in the Labour leadership election...until it suddenly became apparent that he couldn't be caught. In 2016 it was obvious that Donald Trump wouldn't really become the Republican nominee. And then when he became the Republican nominee, it was equally obvious that he couldn't really defeat Hillary Clinton. But he did. The most improbable outcome of a presidential election in living memory actually happened, and we're all living with the consequences.
* You might think that if there was any danger at all of Farage reaching Number 10, a coalition of Remain voters and sane Leavers would turn out in droves to stop him, in much the same way that French voters backed "the crook not the fascist" when Chirac ended up in a run-off with Le Pen. But the thing is that in a first-past-the-post election, you would actually need to know which party to coalesce around to stop the bad guy - and that call wouldn't necessarily be clear-cut. At the moment it's not clear at all.
It's not all doom and gloom, though. Farage as PM implementing a No Deal Brexit wouldn't just win soft Nos over to independence. Even the hard Nos would start coming over in a torrent.