The Conservative Party is in the uncomfortable position of having a grass roots membership in the constituency associations unequivocally opposed to the EU and an isolated Metropolitan party HQ unequivocally in favour. Tory MPs are caught in the middle, unsure whether to annoy the party bosses who hand out junior ministerial jobs or local voters who still retain a minor role in candidate selection. UKIP hovers in the background, ready to repeat its undertaking not to stand in constituencies where the Tory candidate is anti-EU and yesterday's Tory rebels will no doubt have had an eye on 2015.
Yet the resolution to this impasse in the Party may come not from some cosmetic compromise, not from Cameron's banal and mendacious assurances over his Euro-sceptic credentials, but from changes in party funding. Sir Christopher Kelly's committee is about to publish its report on political funding. The three main parties are moribund, with a combined membership of fewer than 1% of the electorate. They're also broke. If Kelly's report throws them back on voter donations and caps large donations they will be far less able to ignore the voices from the backwoods, but this is the long-shot outcome. Far more likely that Kelly will recommend throwing in tens of millions of public money to allow the State parties to suckle at the teat of the taxpayer and maintain policies unsupported by their electors. However, what actually happens will be extremely sensitive to public opinion; the best chance now for all on the right apposed to the EU is to mount a campaign against State party funding, for only by depriving the pro-EU central State HQs of this oxygen will the voices of the people be heard.