There is no case, however, for drift – for the partnership with the firm to carry on as though nothing much has changed since last June’s disappointment.
On the anniversary of the EU referendum, the party leadership needs an audit of what went wrong this month, and a plan for the Tory future in this Parliament.
Lord Ashcroft’s research suggests where the party performed poorly or badly on June 8: among women, younger voters and Remain supporters.
A massive poll lead. Going early. A wooden leader. Mindless mantras. A despised opposition. And then collapse. The parallels are uncanny: why didn’t Crosby warn her?
Plus: An apology on behalf of the pundits, the press, the pollsters, the politicians and the parties for calling this election utterly, totally and completely wrong.
As we write, the Conservatives are still set for a win on Thursday, but there is risk of further slippage – unless key voters can be persuaded that Corbyn will crash the car.
His great achievement two years ago was to sever the head off the Liberal Democrat snake – and most of the body too. Now he must defang it again.
This negative Toryism can eke out victories against average opponents, but it is no guide to winning well – or at all at a time when capitalism is being questioned.