Could the end-game for Theresa start next week?
Yesterday I heard directly the story the story that has been doing the rounds that the Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, had already got the backing of 38 fellow CON MPs ready to send letters to the chairman of the 1922 committee calling for confidence vote on TMay’s leadership. If this is correct he needs just a few more if he is to pull the trigger to try to bring GE17 failure down.
Clearly there is no love lost between the one time front runner for the leadership and Mrs May. Yesterday the Times was reporting that the whips were ready for a snap Johnson resignation which could be the precursor to a leadership intervention – a story of itself that supports the rumours.
For there’s little doubt that every week that Mrs. May remains in the job then the chances of Boris becoming PM decline. Action needs to happen soon but will it?
The Tory mythology that the assassin doesn’t get the crown is only really supported by what happened in November 1990 when it was John Major and not Michael Heseltine who became CON leader and PM. A decade or so earlier Mrs. Thatcher herself was the assassin when a leadership election was forced on Edward Heath which she won.
In many ways BoJo is helped by the continued polling strength of Corbyn and LAB. He has traditionally been seen as the Tory who could reach voters that other party figures couldn’t as evidenced by his two London Mayoral victories.
If we get to a contest then Johnson’s biggest challenge will be making it to the final two whose names go on the membership ballot.
What is for sure is that the next few weeks could be intriguing.