An election where the two main parties firmly managed expectations down has gone as managed. Pointless to speculate how it might have gone if the electorate had been offered a choice on any issue that really matters.
No clear winner, and even the shattering of Lib Dem hopes has still left them with considerable leverage - in Westminster. What is to come may be a foretaste of a political future under some kind of proportional representation.
There is another possibility, however. 'One Nation' Toryism seems to have been dealt a death blow, with the Soviet Bloc in the north clinging to the hope that the state will continue to milk the prosperous, solidly Tory south in order to keep it in the stagnant, corrupt style to which it is accustomed.
The unarguable winner is the permanent civil service, because in the absence of a clear political mandate the response to the financial crisis will be crafted by Whitehall. Which in turn means a very big win indeed for the EU. Regional government now looks not only inevitable, but democratically desirable. I have believed for some time that the imperial construct known as 'Great Britain' has lost all vitality. The election seems to confirm that it has also lost the veneer of political legitimacy.
Scotland joined Great Britain for economic reasons that can now be satisfied by autonomy within the EU. The same consideration applies to long-conquered Wales, and the two parts of Ireland deserve each other. For an historian it is fascinating to note that the economically backward areas of England that rebelled against Henry VIII's brutal centralisation remain not only economically backward but also dissident from the rest of England.
It seems to me that the key to the whole issue is whether there remains sufficient will in the English heartland to remain tied to a bunch of dependent and resentful regions. For my part, I think it would be best - for all concerned - to end the association.