The EPP climbdown by the Tories would, one might have thought, seen support leak to UKIP from the Euro-obssessives. Dave managed, with Blairite skill, to somehow straddle the issue without too much pain. An intense lobbying and internal news management operation was mounted to placate the Euro-sceptics. ConservativeHome.com has not broken out into civil war in the comment forums – though some mild skirmishing is evident. Wisely Hague made sure Tim Montgomerie was briefed and kept on side throughout the process. A tribute to his increasing power-broker status and influence over the grassroots is that the upper echelons of the Tory party went to great lengths to keep him “in the loop”.