1) The troops are delighted with Cameron’s performance which was very assured: they think their man is getting better, learning on the job. The “gradient of leadership”, as one former Cabinet Minister described it to me, is heading in the right direction.
2) Darling is broken. The target has to be Brown. But this strategy depends upon the public definitively reversing its opinion of Gordon as a safe pair of hands. Some anxiety that this reputation has been tarnished rather than shattered.
3) What is the Tory strategy now? As Andrew pointed out, why stick to Labour spending plans if borrowing is already out of control? Cameroon loyalists emphasise “reassurance” as the key that opens the door to Number Ten. Others say that spending money the nation doesn’t have is scarcely reassuring. There is uncertainty as to where public opinion truly lies on this issue.
4) Above all, it is dawning on the Tories that, if they win the next election, their economic inheritance will be anything but golden. In this respect, Cameron does not have the conspicuous good fortune of his Labour role model.