Boat-rocking postponed until further notice

This week's interesting Westminster mood swing is that the predicted Tory rebellion over the European Arrest Warrant - and the other justice and home affairs powers the government wants Britain to opt back into - seems to be dissipating.

The vote is expected to be on Monday, but in contrast to previous euro-flashpoints, there is little sign of a major rebel whipping operation of the kind that inflicted wounds on the government earlier in this Parliament.

So rather than the euro-apocalypse people began to foresee when the formidable chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, attacked the warrant in the Times a few weeks back, the expectation now seems to be that about 30 predictable euro-sceptic diehards may have a pop.

This is quiet, but not exactly harmony. It's partly that the election is peeping over the horizon, and MPs, who will soon be candidates again, know very well how deadly the appearance of disunity can be, so they don't want to rock the boat.

Indeed, boat-rocking looks pretty futile when Labour are providing extra ballast for the government, so why mutiny and risk a keel-hauling from the whips, only to lose anyway? The rebels won't even get much of a cheer from their normally-reliable shipmates in the eurosceptic press, which seems to be piping down - a bit - because they don't want the Tories to lose.

The final blow was the interesting polling finding that UKIP voters like the European Arrest Warrant. The upshot is that party discipline appears to be re-asserting itself.

And while Ed Miliband's attempt to point up the long term Tory euro-schism at Wednesday's PMQs did hit home with the Better Off Out crowd on the Conservative benches, the issue of what Prime Minister Cameron might recommend to the British public at a referendum some years in the future does not have much leverage now.

In the here and now, Conservatives want to change the subject from the EU and immigration, onto the economy and the choice of national leader. Which is what they will focus on, relentlessly, from the Autumn Statement, on to polling day.