A year ago few would have predicted that TMay would have survived till the 2018 conference

A year ago few would have predicted that TMay would have survived till the 2018 conference

But is the time now running out?

One of my losing bets from last year was placed during the Conservative conference after TMay’s disastrous speech that she wasn’t going to make it as leader till the end of the year.

It was a surprise that she’d managed to carry on that long following her decision to call a general election three years early and the manner that she conducted that campaign.

Well she did and she’s still there although her political challenges are even greater now than they were then. What keeps her in place is that there is little unanimity on who should be her successor.

    Tory MPs are going to be reluctant to trigger a vote of no confidence in Mrs May if they don’t have a fairly clear picture about who would be the next occupant of Number 10.

We’ve discussed this many times before but there is little stomach within the parliamentary Conservative Party for the former Mayor and Foreign Secretary Mr Johnson getting the job. He might be favourite in the betting to be the successor but that’s probably down to him having a lot more name recognition than many of the other senior Conservatives.

True Johnson now tops the regular next leader “surveys” at the hardline pro-Brexit website ConservativeHome but how representative of the membership is that? About a quarter of CON voters are remainers.

Johnson’s record at the Foreign Office has hardly helped his case for the leadership amongst his parliamentary colleagues and it is noticeable that there are very few CON MPs ready to argue his case in public when the need arises.

The other factor helping Theresa is that the next general election voting intention polls are showing a mixed picture. True yesterday BMG had LAB 5% ahead but this was the pollster whose 13% CON lead at the last election meant that it came bottom of the GE2017 polling accuracy table.

Mike Smithson

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