The Tory base and its newspaper supporters are ecstatic. David Cameron has abandoned his commitment to match Labour's spending pledges, so that he can get out of the self-imposed strictures that would prevent him supporting any tax cuts in Monday's Pre-Budget Report. Meanwhile, a new poll shows that the Tory lead is down to a mere three points, placing it well within margins of error, and confirming the trend of most recent polling.
The consensus among Tory commentators seems to be that Cameron has executed a terribly clever move which will pay dividends in the coming months as voters tire of the Labour government. Maybe. But isn't it just as likely that swing voters, having been persuaded that the Tories had shown real signs of change, might conclude that the earlier Cameron strategy was pure PR: once the Tories are in a corner, they revert to their true instincts. And if that is the case, perhaps they won't want to make the same mistake twice?