this front page got me wondering about the mails motives here ?
The Mail is a populist paper, or at least populist to its readers. Your typical lower middle-class Daily Mail reader is often constantly dissatisfied with Tory governments, despite voting for them, so they will often enthusiastically ingest criticism of them.
And as warton suggests, there is the UKIP factor.
If you are surprised by criticism of the Tories in the Daily Mail then you really don't know the Daily Mail. What would surprise me greatly would be the Daily Mail seriously criticising UKIP. Or even more shocking, praising the Labour Party - I can't read beyond the headlines but I assume the article doesn't go on to praise Labour ?
Everything seems pretty much as it should be and the Mail isn't experiencing an identity crises imo.