Fraser Nelson was quick out of the blocks vowing to fight a Con-Lib arrangement. Ah, the perils of 24-hour meeja: he quickly shut up, and has subsequently been a model of restraint, concerned mainly that Michael Gove's school reforms will survive in a coalition deal.
Methinks more than one person had a little word with him. Guido was probably the first - "don't do it, my friend" (no nihilist he!) - and we may imagine that one or two people wearing suits were also making similar points. Somebody has also had a little word with Heffer, too.
Excellent. The Tories' discipline since 6 May has been a pleasure to behold (e.g. Redwood, here). They've rediscovered their power-focus. This bodes well, for the difficult months that lie ahead before a re-run of the GE. And it's certainly what the grassroots want, whatever the ultras like to imagine, and whatever a mischievous media would prefer. "This is the election to lose" is oppositionist thinking associated with posturing purists, more usually leftists. No credit to Heffer for wondering thus: "The most difficult point to grasp is why anybody wants to govern this country". Difficult only for a backwoods sniper, matey: practical people seize the reins when they are flapping loose.
There are other simple reasons, in addition to a proper, pragmatic enthusiasm for power. Natural Conservative self-discipline and decency, of course ! But IMHO the main reason is that the Right is properly keen to see the mega-deficit sorted, and knows what a mega-task this is. Here is Nelson again:
"Clegg will take PMQs in Cameron’s absence, and will defend all those nasty cuts (sharing the blame for these cuts is the main rationale for coalition)"
This is a legitimate rightist motivation, and coupled with Red Lines on immigration and Europe (and Trident - but why ?) should be enough to keep the Right in line, provided the first Budget seems sound.
Any other views on why Tory discipline is holding so well in the face of a disappointing result ?