Blair’s first defeat moves Tories to the left?

So Tony Blair has lost his first three line whip set piece in the House of Commons. The pundits say it’s a disaster, no doubt some of them delighted at smelling a real political defeat instead of speculating on the likelihood of one. It’s certainly not good on the face of it. As Nick Robinson quipped on Newsnight last night, his backbench rebels have tasted rebellion and won, and they may do it again. Polly Toynbee cautions against triumphalism. But the most fascinating outcome may be that (on security at least) he has pushed the Tories out to the ‘left’ of the parliamentary Labour party.