Analysis: Boris Johnson is in deep trouble – even his own party is against him

While the government finally won a bunch of votes on the novel coronavirus measures, it did so through the grievances of relying on opposition votes. A total of 99 Conservative members of Parliament defied Johnson, wiped out 79 seats and leave Johnson exposed.
In a word, very. The past two weeks have been dominated by reports that he and his team organize social gatherings in Downing Street in winter 2020 while the rest of the country is under coronavirus restrictions and such gatherings are illegal.

Johnson insists that he believes no rules have been broken and has asked one of his top civil servants to investigate the alleged parties.

PartyGate, as it was known, became hot after a horrible scandal in which Johnson whipped his MPs to overturn a 30-day suspension for a Conservative Party colleague who was found to have breached lobbying rules. Owen Patterson sent multiple emails to government officials on behalf of the two companies to between them paying him a salary of £100,000 ($133,000) as a consultant. He initially denied any wrongdoing, but he eventually resigned as an MP.

There have been other scandals regarding how the Prime Minister paid for the refurbishment of his flat and who paid for a luxury holiday he was part of.

Opinion polls show the piling up of scandals and cross-party woes is a gift to Johnson’s critics – and the reports are beginning to impress the public. Each week, the opposition leader can question the prime minister in parliament, and on Wednesday Labor leader Keir Starmer twisted the knife, asking Johnson about the night’s rebellion.

“If more votes are needed to save lives,” Labor will follow Starmer’s lead and help pass the necessary measures if his own MPs do not back him. Starmer asked: “Does the Prime Minister understand why his own MPs don’t trust him?” Johnson declined to answer this specific question.

Starmer asked why people should follow the seemingly ignored rules of Downing Street. Johnson is clearly annoyed by this line of inquiry.

All of this has severely damaged Johnson’s reputation, should individual approval ratings or opinion polls go ahead. Politico’s opinion poll The Conservatives are four points behind the opposition Labor Party, while 65% of people disapprove of his leadership.

However, the Prime Minister is probably not in immediate danger of losing his job. To remove Johnson from office, 15% of his MPs would need to send a letter to the chairman of a group of pro-Conservative MPs, known as the 1922 Committee, calling for a vote of confidence on the possibility. his leadership.

The number of messages sent has always been kept private, but it is not thought to be anywhere near that threshold. Even if that is achieved, it is unlikely that Johnson will lose the vote. This will make him immune to another leadership challenge for 12 months. It will not be in the interest of those seeking to get rid of Johnson to show his face by voting against him only to lose. And there’s an argument that keeping him in office damaging enough that he can be controlled might be the best way forward for now – no one wants to take his mess. ta.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly Prime Minister's Questions at the Houses of Parliament, in London, Wednesday, December 8, 2021.

There is also little prospect of a parliamentary vote that could bring down his government. Losing a protest vote that your rebels know will turn over to the opposition ballots is very different from a vote that could bring down the government and trigger a general election.

But this does not mean that Johnson is completely safe. There is a theory that political leadership roles are ended not by a single shot, but by a thousand cuts.

Individual events don’t suddenly turn people away and change their minds, but general facts will eventually catch up with you. And for a politician like Johnson, this is dangerous.

He took office with a reputation of not being entirely trustworthy. The circumstances under which he won the 2019 election were extremely unusual (Brexit was at an impasse and then-leader of the opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, historically unpopular with voters).

The danger for Johnson is that many voters believe that if someone can lie about one thing, such as the details of how Brexit works, it is a short step into believing they will lie about anyone. what.

And unfortunately for Johnson, it is possible that he has passed the point of no return and these scandals will follow him until the end of his leadership role. The question is how soon that will happen.


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