The rising tide of opposition to the Gay Marriage proposals and the need to placate the virtually unplacatable euro-sceptics, coupled with some pretty appalling party management in and outside parliament, have led David Cameron to this point - that a victory in Eastleigh is urgently needed, but even if it is obtained it will only stop the grumbling temporarily, not permanently. It might also showcase the electoral problem he will face on the current boundaries in 2015.
There have been a number of perceptive commentaries on the Tory condition recently:
Matthew D'Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph outlined the problem faced by what he called the Tory MPs' 'Hogwarts tendency' in calling for better right-wing policies. D'Ancona also produced an excellent piece on the current Tory policy problem a few weeks back.
David Skelton on Platform 10 has explained why losing the Boundary Commission vote is not the main reason why the Tories could face defeat in 2015.
Defeat in 2015 also occupied commentator and former Tory MP Paul Goodman a while back.
AS students who venture this far could check out the archive of reports on the Conservative Party by clicking on the 'Conservative Party' label in the right hand column.