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Theresa May vanquishes all as MPs back fresh General Election

Theresa May has won - and how. Credit: PA

It's done. This parliament is over - 522 votes to 13.

It went more with a whimper than a bang. The hopes and fears of the 2015 general election in the dustbin of history.

David Cameron's 84-page manifesto, not even half implemented, is now a historic curiosity, utterly irrelevant to the future of this country.

How trivial and unimportant now that unexpected Tory victory two years ago seems.

Except in one respect.

It brought us the Brexit vote, which gave us Theresa May as PM, who today secured MPs' permission to dissolve parliament three years early.

My goodness, she has won - and how.

Better than the icing on the cake, for her, is George Osborne's decision to quit parliament to concentrate on his new job editing London's Evening Standard newspaper.

The former Chancellor, who can take much credit for that 2015 Conservative win, was the only dangerous focal point of opposition to her within her party.

With him gone, she is formidably strong and secure (till like all Prime Ministers, her career ends in failure).

MPs in the House of Commons ahead of the vote today. Credit: PA

I am not, however, certain that the reputation of Parliament has been enhanced by today's events.

A 90-minute debate, characterised by tired largely predictable speeches, saw the Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which was supposed to take narrow self-interested politics out of decisions about timings of elections, casually brushed aside.

And a decision taken by the British people in 2015 to elect a government to carry out a large and ambitious programme of policies over five years just swept away with barely a protest.

The whole point of leaving the EU, I heard, was to strengthen and make more lustrous the British version of democracy.

I am not wholly certain that is what we have just witnessed in this slightly pathetic denouement to the Cameron/Osborne years.

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