So now we know the numbers: 328 Opposition and Tory rebel MPs voted to take control of the Commons order paper, inflicting Boris Johnson's first defeat as prime minster. It was the first vote of any kind he has faced as PM.
After a year or more of talk about a Tory rebellion over Brexit, it has finally happened.
Threats to deselect any backbencher who supported the opposition motion were not enough to prevent the defeat.
Several senior Conservative MPs have effectively sacrificed their political careers in an effort to stop a no-deal Brexit.
Among them Ken Clarke, the former Chancellor of the Exchequer and father of the house - an MP who embodies the term "Tory Grandee".
And Nicholas Soames, the grandson of Winston Churchill, the Prime Minster that Boris Johnson idolises - he even wrote a biography of Britain's wartime leader.
But Churchill’s grandson now faces being booted out of the Conservative party by Mr Johnson.
The deselection threat played badly with many MPs, and seems to have had the opposite effect to that intended - it stiffened the resolve of the rebels.
Another former chancellor, Philip Hammond, former Justice Secretary David Gauke, former minster and leadership contender Rory Stewart all face the axe.
They have already "had the whip removed", and are no longer Conservative party MPs.
The deselection threat followed last week’s move to suspend Parliament for five weeks leading into October’s crucial European Council.
Mr Johnson’s belief was that having the Parliament in session would be destabilising, presenting an ongoing show of disunity and rebellion to the EU. But again many MPs didn't like being shut out of the action at this critical time.
And there was the Dominic Cummings factor. He has become increasingly unpopular among Tory backbenchers - Philip Hammond says he is not even a member of the Conservative party, yet appears to be calling the shots.
Many were shocked by the sacking of the current Chancellor Sajid Javid's media adviser last week - she was escorted out of Downing Street by armed police. How come an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat was able to fire a ministerial aide.
Then came the threat to call an election if MPs defied the government and moved to bring in a law banning a no deal Brexit.
And Jacob Rees-Mogg's performance in the House of Commons last night, didn’t play well - denouncing the Opposition move as "the most undemocratic abuse of the process of this house since the days of Charles Stewart Parnell", amongst other choice phrases - then lying down on the government bench while other members spoke.
All of it was summed up in the phrase "overstepping the mark" - the sense over the last week or so that the Johnson administration has gone too far, straining the bonds of party unity.
Boris Johnson’s immediate response to the vote was to confirm that he will table a motion under the fixed term parliaments act, seeking a dissolution of the house and an early general election.
But he had been able to muster only 301 votes. He needs 424 to get an election. That means most of the Labour party would have to back him.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he wanted an election - but first wants to see the law banning a no-deal Brexit on the statute books.
And a lot of Labour backbenchers simply don’t trust Boris Johnson not to change the day of a general election away from mid-October, to after 31 October - thus inflicting a no-deal Brexit by default.
Another day of high political drama begins this morning.