For it to work there has to be a vacancy and there isn’t one
While LAB has continued its self destructive row on antisemitism the focus has been off the Tories in the past couple of weeks even though the blues are as split as ever over Brexit. Even so TMay might be pleased that all the latest ratings her net figures have her moving up while Corbyn has slipped sharply. Opinium, Deltapoll and YouGov now have her ahead of the Labour leader.
A big development in the CON leadership this month has been the public backing of Johnson by the controversial Leave EU backer, Arron Banks, and his plan to get lots of his supporters to become CON members so they can vote for Johnson for leader.
That he’s doing this so publicly will, I’d argue, make it more difficult to boot TMay out under the party’s leader ousting rules. For if there was a confidence ballot then the prospect of the ex-mayor being leader backed by Banks will cause some TMay-sceptic CON MPs to think twice about supporting a move that would lead to her removal.
The prerequisite for Boris to become leader is there has to be a contest and one thing’s for sure the incumbent is not going to step down of her own accord. She has to be ousted.
We’ve been though the numbers many times before. 48 CON MPs have to send letters to the 1922 chair asking for a confidence vote which is then put to a ballot of the parliamentary party. But to actually remove a leader would require a majority of CON MPs and Johnson isn’t thought to have that level a support amongst his colleagues at Westminster.
The threat by Banks to encourage Momentum-style entryism into local Tory parties in advance of a leadership election won’t have endeared him to many CON MPs. I thought Guido got this right about Banks before the weekend.
Continually announcing plans which you don’t follow through undermines your credibility and for a right wing figure to alienate Guido isn’t smart. Banks should have bought him that lunch.