From Disraeli, by Lord Blake, on the fracture in the Conservative Party around the Reform Bill of 1867:
Lord John Manners describes the final scene:
At last Lord Derby seeing it was useless to persevere, said, rising, “This is the end of the Conservative Party.” Then as Cranborne was leaving the table, Peel said “Lord Cranborne, do you hear what Lord Derby says?” But Cranborne took no notice, and the die was caste.
Of course, it was not the end of the Conservative Party….Disraeli sensed that the mass of the Conservative Party, buoyant with the knowledge that they at last had the political initiative, would follow him wherever he led them, as long as he could make them feel like they were winning. But they would never think that they were wining if he was forced to amend the Bill at Gladstone’s behest.
The good news is that the GOP does this every twelve years, and this time it is in an off-year, while the Dems do it as a annual ritual.