Theresa May made her departure from Downing Street on Friday, with her failure to pass through a Brexit deal along with the general decline in electoral support provided good enough reason for her to go.
As she approached the lectern, she looked like a woman defeated, long living on overdue time. May must have known that her time was up for a while.
Consistently she has failed to pass her withdrawal bill, as well as having 50 ministerial resignations. Under normal circumstances, May would have already gone, a new leader would already be in place. Under normal circumstances, the Tories would be decimated by Labour in the polls. However, this is not a normal political situation, this is a government defined by the chaos of Brexit. It was easy to feel sympathy for her as she shed a tear while heading back into Downing Street.
This sympathy will not last long however, she has left the country in chaos over Brexit. While she has abandoned the ship, she has left it for another leader to clean up her mess. Fundamentally Theresa May's premiership will be defined by failure.
She failed on Brexit: she failed in the general election and she to bring a considerable victory in the council election. She has failed her crucial mandate and she has failed the electorate. Grassroots members have been forced to concede to a party that does not agree with them on Brexit. Some members have been forced to leave their party to join one that will deliver Brexit. This is evident by the Brexit parties surge in support over the last months. Eventually winning a seat in every area, apart from remain dominated London. The Brexit Party is proof of falling support in the Conservatives and even under a new leader, the electorate will take time to win over. May has given power to the Eurosceptic might of Farage's new party.
While many people voted for the Brexit party as a way to safely give the conservatives a message, we must learn from this. Theresa May’s personal legacy will perhaps be more complicated. She started off her premiership in a good light with an extended honeymoon period. She was a new leader with new energy and a clear vision for where she wanted the Tory party to go. Fed up with austerity, she proposed policies that would help the just about managing. There were also policies for a more just society. One can't help but feel in another time may have made a great prime minister, but her time in office was always going to be marked by Brexit. A future historian glancing at this era may concede that May had a noble aim - to create a moderate centre ground in politics, to win back the workers that the Tory party had seemed to abandon under Cameron.
They might even see her as her critics do, a useless figure that should not have had the position in the first place; only winning the leadership by default because of the incompetence of her opponents. Ultimately though Mays premiership was a wasted one. One that has left the taste of bitter disappointment in the mouths of many members.
It is left for another leader to pick up the pieces and deliver Brexit. If they don’t the Conservatives will be obliterated, one of the most successful parties in Europe destroyed by its own incompetence.
Time for May to work on her memoirs.