All this comes on the back of confusion about what last week's ballot even meant, making a curious situation even curiouser. But, whatever the reasons behind it, the outcome will be seen as a climbdown by David Cameron – and perhaps the first real dent to his authority since coming to power. Meanwhile, the 118 "rebels" will revel in how things have turned out.
The only plus for the Tory leadership is that this will have sucked much of the venom and urgency out of the situation. But the question they now have to face is: was it really worth it in the first place?