Boris Johnson warned about his future after bad polling
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A new poll suggests Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has won back voters in the ‘red wall’. Meanwhile, the Deltapoll survey suggested that a majority of the population doubt Mr Johnson will be Prime Minister this time next year. Of the 57 constituencies the Tory party gained in the general election three years ago, 38 percent of voters agreed Sir Keir would make the best Prime Minister, with Mr Johnson supported by 33 percent of those surveyed.
The poll also put Labour ahead of the Tories when it came to voting intention in those seats, most of which are considered part of the red wall.
The poll published in the Mail on Sunday also suggested Labour were five points ahead of the Tory party nationwide, and that if the results were to be repeated in a general election it could cost the Conservatives more than 100 seats.
Mr Evans, who is a political scientist and Sociology of Politics professor at the University of Oxford claimed the Conservative party were “calculating” whether Mr Johnson remained an “asset” as party leader.
He told Express.co.uk: “All the people in the Conservative party at the moment are calculating how much they have to take before Boris becomes a liability rather than an asset.
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“They only really like him because he wins elections. He doesn’t have a big base in the party.
“The impact on his popularity is distinct from the party and they’re pondering now whether he has lost that magical, charismatic touch for the sorts of voters they needed to win in 2019.”
Mr Evans’ comments came amid a tumultuous December for the Prime Minister in which his popularity plummeted after allegations that a Christmas party had been held at Downing Street in 2020 despite coronavirus restrictions.
Mr Johnson also faced an unprecedented Tory rebellion over new coronavirus passport restrictions, as 98 Conservative backbenchers voted against bringing in NHS vaccine passes.
While the vote passed comfortably the rebels included a number of former cabinet ministers such as David Davis and Chris Grayling.
December also saw Mr Johnson’s chief Brexit negotiator Lord David Frost resign from the Government due to the Prime Minister’s tax hikes, net-zero commitments, coronavirus legislation and failure to seize the benefits of Brexit.
However, Mr Evans downplayed the significance of both the Tory rebellion and Lord Frost resignation, as the Government’s stance on coronavirus legislation is in line with a consensus of public opinion.
He also claimed that no one in the Conservative party appears a credible option to replace Mr Johnson.
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The academic said: “There’s no one else in there who’s got any profile, any credibility with the public.
“They’re all guys like Jeremy Hunt ‒ he’s not going to have the Boris touch in terms of appealing beyond the typical Tory constituency.
“They’re clinging to him because, despite the fact they are a fractured party with no shared view on a lot of things, they are not going to be able to provide an alternative to Boris.
“It might be that the splits within the party and the sorts of people who will want to get rid of him are such that there’s no obvious candidate to replace him with.
“I reckon they will give him more time.”
On Friday Mr Johnson posted a New Year message on his social media in which he claimed the UK was in an “incomparably better” position in tackling COVID-19 than this time last year.
In a message posted on social media, Mr Johnson said the country had met its target in offering all adults the chance to get a coronavirus booster jab.
He added that seven in 10 adults in England had received their booster.
Despite a massive surge in the Omicron variant, Mr Johnson said: “The British people have responded heroically, voluntarily and in almost incredible numbers to the call to get vaccinated.
“And as I speak tonight on New Year’s Eve we’ve met our target, we’ve doubled the speed of the booster roll out.”
He also hailed the UK’s economic performance and stated the “overriding reason” the UK had been able to “maintain the most open economy and society of any major European economy” was due to its vaccine rollout.
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