With the Tory voting lead dropping sharply in the polls and Boris trailing some way behind Starmer in the leader ratings there have been increasing reports of growing doubts about him amongst Tory MPs. This is what the excellent Stephen Bush writes in today’s I Newspaper:
As far as most Conservative MPs are concerned, the benefit of backing Boris Johnson for the top job was that he was the most well-placed to win the 2019 election. They always harboured serious doubts about his ability to do the job day-to-day. Tory MPs, just like the rest of us, are hard-wired to seek out information that confirms their prior prejudices and to throw out things that confound them. Now, when things go wrong, it confirms their doubts about Johnson to think that the golden thread underpinning the problems is that the Prime Minister doesn’t have sufficient grip.
We all know that the Tories can be totally ruthless when they think their leader is an electoral liability. Could, if things don’t improve, get to a stage where Johnson’s future is in doubt? My guess is that this could happen at some stage but not for some time.
In terms of betting the 3/2 that Ladbrokes is offering on him not leading the party at the next election looks tempting. There are problems with the bet. Even if the PM was toppled tomorrow you wouldn’t be able to pick up your winnings until the election and that could mean waiting till May 2nd 2024.
I wonder if Ladbrokes could change the wording so the bet was on Johnson departing as leader before the election is called.