1. This is not an under-the-radar sting operation, albeit more competent and more shady than Toby Young's hapless efforts to sign Tories up to support Jeremy Corbyn's leadership bid. They genuinely do believe, unlike me, that Liz is Labour's route to success. She's the nearest of the contenders to the Blair formula of tacking right, saying the "unsayable", and piling up the votes. They share the tedious, and almost wholly wrong view that Labour was too left to win the election - and conveniently ignore the evidence that the Tories didn't win it from the centre either. So there is a meeting of minds, an acknowledgement of something of a kindred spirit.
2. The right like to see themselves as gatekeepers. If someone is to be elevated to high office, it can only be done with their permission. As "leaders" they have to look as though they're ahead of events, even if this is not the case. In 1997 and 2010, The Sun in particular endorsed Blair and Dave respectively because, they thought, they had to be seen to back a winner. Similar calculations came into play when the Scottish edition of the paper plumped for the SNP, even while in the rest-of-the-UK Nicola Sturgeon and Alex Salmond were denounced as Caledonian commies. Whatever you think of Liz, she has an analysis of what went wrong, has already set out what she would do as leader, and has that element of freshness about her that people can project their hopes and desires onto. She looks every inch the break with the dread Miliband, and as her star rises who wouldn't want to be associated with that?
3. The Tories are more than capable of winning the next general election. Forget the coming gerrymander, though that is important, the government's policies are going to create ever great social anxiety and precarity that, ultimately, helped them with the majority this time round. Who's to say that can't happen again? However, there will come a time when the Tories are dumped out of power and Labour forms the government again. What would the Tories and their helpers in the press like that new Labour government to look like? Would they, like the 13 years of Blair and Brown, have a government that changes some things but leaves the fundamentals of the political economy from which they benefit fundamentally intact, or take a chance on someone whose Labourism involves some challenges to the powers that be, as Ed Miliband's politics certainly did. Better to have the Tories replaced by someone they can do business with than otherwise.
4. A Liz Kendall leadership also offers the best chance for a more disciplined Labour party, disciplined that is in ways congenial to the right. We know what the party is like. Most activists and Labour-loyal commentators very much pull their punches and generally abstain from scathing internal polemic when a leader is in position. The last thing the right want is Labour to challenge some of their austerity agenda. That adds legitimacy to the kinds of politics promulgated by the trade unions who, at least as far as our opponents are concerned, are utterly beyond the pale (knighthoods or no). They're banking on the loyalism of lesser-evilism kicking in, and the party - as well as the wider movement - getting behind a programme that does not challenge the settlement the Tories are trying to impose. It's a long range strategy of containment.