The other piece of news was Cameron confirming that the vote on the 55 percent clause will be whipped. This sets up an interesting clash between the coalition and some of its senior backbenchers. Several I have spoken to in the past few days regard it as a matter of principle, telling me that on constitutional grounds they simply couldn’t vote for it. Others regard it as a way of firing a shot across the leadership’s bow, of showing that the Commons cannot be taken for granted.
One aspect of the interview that will particularly please the Tories is how comfortable Cameron is when talking about cooperation and the practicalities of coalition government. Journalists, including myself, are understandably obsessed by process questions: can Cameron fire a Lib Dem without Clegg’s agreement, will there be political Cabinets etc. But the public are not. When answering these questions, Cameron does a good job of talking over the Westminster Village to the nation, using common sense language to describe how things will work.