The reshuffle is now under way. We already know that Andrew Mitchell is taking over as the chief whip, Baroness Warsi has just announced her departure via Twitter and the word now is that Ken Clarke is likely to move from Justice Secretary to Leader of the House. There will be live updates on Coffee House throughout the day as MPs start filing in and out of Downing Street, but before the shuffling begins properly, here are some names worth keeping an eye out for.
These are the coalition casualties: MPs who served on the Conservative front bench when the party was in opposition but were not offered ministerial posts when the coalition formed. Some, like Stewart Jackson, have already become hardened rebels, but for others, this is their last shot at getting into government before 2015. There will be certain MPs who, if they are not promoted now, may well go rogue as they see no reason to remain loyal to the Cameron machine any longer.
Then there are the rebels. Those who voted against the government on Lords reform are likely to remain in exile in this reshuffle. But the Prime Minister has already signalled he may be in a forgiving mood towards some of those who just rebelled in the backbench vote on an EU referendum last year by promoting Europe rebel Stuart Andrew to work as Francis Maude’s PPS. It will be interesting to see whether Cameron decides to give any ministerial posts to members of this group. There are 10 MPs for whom Europe was their first and only rebellion of this parliament. Will being passed over in the reshuffle make them even more rebellious?
Cameron may also find that dangling a PPS post before some MPs to keep them on side means nothing. Many of the 2010 intake are quite snooty about PPS jobs, which they believe are dull compared to the successful lives they enjoyed in business before being elected. He could find that those he leaves out hold more power over morale in his party and his own image in the press than those new ministers getting the call from Downing Street today.