As the hackgate story claims scalp after scalp, Iain Dale wonders if the crisis will lap up against the feet at Number Ten, whilst pb.com speculates on who might be next if the PM is hit by that theoretical political bus.
I have no idea how far the investiagtions will go or what the outcome will be, but I am willing to bet at any odds that the PM will survive. And for 2 very good reasons.
Firstly there is absolutely nobody to replace him - there is, literally, no life after Cameron. Johnson isn't in the Commons, Osborne is not loved by the public and the election of Hunt would be too ironic given the circumstances. Hague? Doubtful. Even my own beloved Gove - along with Lansley - would be controversial given their reforming zeal in parliament has made them enemies. Some suggest David Davis, but he has languished too long on the backbenches to have a realistic powerbase. Theresa May is being "bigged up" by some and true she has made great strides at the home office but her leadership metal has yet to be tested. It therefore leaves Hague, but Hague would always be the caretaker leader and the public, coalition, party and parliament would know it. We've got this coalition because the nation needs stabilty and having a caretaker PM wouldn't deliver that. Until there is "another", Cameron is safe.
But also a second reason. The personal glue that holds this coalition together is Cameron and Clegg. Could any other leader hold this government together in the way that Cameron has? I very much doubt it. A lurch to the right - say under Fox - would destroy the coaltiion quickly and many of the other candidates would see a slower but equally painful death. The fact is that Cameron IS the coalition and without Cameron there is NO coalition. My view is simple - if Cameron falls, we are back into General Election territory within six months and that election would be without the smaller Commons and boundary changes the Tories crave.
As I say, I am not sure where the hackgate situation is going, but Cameron is going nowhere. The party needs him, the coalition needs him and, given the current polling (the Tories took the lead again tonight) the country still needs him.