To switch or not to switch
In the end BJohnson’s much anticipated conference speech was totally on message and it was hard to find even the most minuscule of difference with the PM. For just about the first time the conference hall was packed and the delegates seemed to be enjoying themselves.
But it wasn’t one of the ex-Mayor’s greatest speeches. He had some good jokes and his close was rather subdued and almost took the audience by surprise. Maybe he had planned to say something different at the end but chose not to.
My sense was that the reaction of TMontgomerie crystallised what many were thinking. Having BoJo as leader and PM would be a huge gamble but the alternative, the wounded PM struggling on, is hardly inspiring. Mrs. May is never going to be able to skirt round the fact that she called an unnecessary election in which her party lost its majority. She knows it and it is there for all to see in every public appearance. Her confidence has been shattered.
Tomorrow it is her turn to make her conference speech and this is going to be a massive challenge. My guess is that it won’t be the reaction in Manchester that matters but how her 317 fellow MPs regard it and her prospects and that could take some time to filter though.
What is very striking is the smallish number of CON MPs who are at the conference – an indicator, perhaps, of their view of the situation.