Politics is a notoriously unpredictable business and capable of springing a surprise when least expected.
The referendum result was an occasion when, for once, the word seismic seems entirely appropriate.
The fallout has changed the political landscape in the UK profoundly.
No one saw it coming, even the bookmakers.
David Cameron rolled the dice – some would say needlessly – confident that his numbers would come up. They didn’t.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose lukewarm support to stay looks like triggering a party leadership contest, could also be out.
Nigel Farage, beaming like a Cheshire cat, has emerged stronger when many expected him to be cast into the political wasteland. As to explanations? Unease over immigration was a factor in Kent, where a steady influx of migrants and asylum seekers over the years has changed some of our most impoverished communities.
It was also closely tied to concerns about pressure on public services, such as schools and GPs.
Throw in the feeling among many the UK had ceded powers to the EU, an unaccountable organisation where decisionmakers cannot be held to account, and you have a toxic mix.
Kent confounded the argument opposition to the EU was confined to poorer areas.
There was considerable antipathy in some of the county’s leafiest suburban towns, including Sevenoaks.
Did voters, unencumbered by any party loyalty, used the poll to take out their pent-up frustration at the political establishment? Possibly. The remain camp took to heart the adage that negative campaigning may be unpleasant but works.
It offered a relentlessly downbeat prospectus in which everything that could go wrong, would – short of plague and pestilence.
Voters do tend to see through this dark propaganda.
And may have used their power in the polling booth to register their disdain.