The Liberal Democrats’ decision to play politics over the Jeremy Hunt censure vote will not be forgotten by already aggrieved Conservative backbenchers. The opportunity for revenge at some future point will be relished.
However, the Coalition will hold steady. David Cameron will regard this episode as a small show of public differentiation by a Liberal Democrat party continuing to languish in the opinion polls.
On tackling the really big issues it will remain business as usual. The Eurozone crisis is moving into a dangerous new phase and is likely to persist for the remainder of the parliament. Public borrowing remains stubbornly high, but “deficit reduction” is a mantra that unites all coalition ministers.
On public sector reform, especially school education and welfare reorganisation, there is a substantial prize to be won – and the spoils divided equally between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Similarly on the broader international stage there is much to worry about, but even more that keeps the coalition intact. Disputes over Jeremy Hunt’s future will not cause any sleepless nights in Downing Street.