It is very difficult to see how David Cameron would survive a ‘Yes’ vote in the Scottish referendum. There are certainly Conservatives who are making detailed plans to oust the Prime Minister if Scotland does vote to leave. But it is also worth noting that a ‘No’ vote would not ensure an easy ride for the Conservative leader with his party.
A number of Tory backbenchers are unsettled by the speed at which the parties have moved to promise devo-more. They say they can’t see the point at which the government moved from resisting devo-max to all three Westminster parties promising a significant transfer of powers. And they will cause trouble on the English question. Some are getting grumpy in advance about senior politicians avoiding discussing the Barnett Formula, which the Coalition Agreement protected, and which the Lib Dems have an interest in continuing to protect.
At Prime Minister’s Questions today, we saw John Redwood and Christopher Chope asking about a new settlement for England and complaining about the change in policy respectively. Other senior Tories are similarly agitated, pointing out that whatever the result next week, the consequences will be ‘seismic’ for the Conservative party.