But this isn't just about Cable's embarrassment. Before the last election, the Lib Dems pledged never to increase tuition fees – but now they are part of a government which may do just that. This puts them at a fork in the road: do they abstain from any vote to increase tuition fees, as suggested in the coalition agreement? Or do they rebel against the government? Much will depend on whether Downing Street can reach a compromise over the next few weeks – but if Lib Dems choose the latter, then there might well be blood. According to the Sunday Times report, the majority in favour of tuition fee reforms could be as low as five. And that's small enough for this story to carry explosive potential.