Labour MPs Terrified of Boris Comeback

In July last year Angela Rayner finally admitted that Boris was the “biggest threat” to Labour’s hopes at the last election. A week prior, Pippa Crerar admitted that Boris was the Tory leadership contender Labour would fear most:

Now more Labour MPs aren’t holding back on their greatest fear: a Boris comeback…

Paul Waugh’s latest piece in the carries some interesting quotes from Labour MPs:

“there is a strong strand of thinking among some Labour MPs that also really fears a Johnson return. They have picked up the same doorstep feedback as Tory colleagues in “Red Wall” areas, with Labour-Tory switchers from 2019 saying they’ll only vote Conservative again if they “bring back Boris”.

One senior Labour MP even tells me they suspect a restored Johnson could attempt a snap election this October. “He’ll say ‘I got some things wrong, but I got you Brexit, I did my best on Covid and I was right about Putin. Give me a new mandate to finish the job.’ And unlike us, he keeps it simple.”

“The fact that we would pile up voters in Holborn and St Pancras is utterly irrelevant when Boris can help them hold on to seats in the north. When my voters hear us say ‘tax the rich’, they think ‘are they going to tax me next?’ When we talk about ‘the poor’, they think ‘they’re not interested in me’. Boris is a roll of the dice, but he could make them the largest party [in a hung Parliament].”

Interesting stuff. Not long now until the local elections, Rishi…

mdi-timer 6 February 2023 @ 15:30 6 Feb 2023 @ 15:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
43% of Rishi’s Ministers Didn’t Back Him in the Summer

Since the reshuffle concluded on Sunday, Guido’s had a look at the final make-up of Rishi’s first government. While plenty of column inches have been dedicated to the racial, gender and geographical make-up of the Cabinet, Rishi promised the government as a whole would be one of ‘all the talents’ and wouldn’t be packed full of only his core supporters. Naming no names, Liz…

In light of this Guido can reveal the number shape up like this: Rishi’s government has 93 MP ministers; excluding the undeclared who may or may not have backed him, 43% of these appointees backed him in the final round of MP voting in the summer. Versus 57% who plumped with Liz.

This stands in contrast to Liz’s government, which had just 17% of its publicly declared ministers backing Rishi.

It’s unhelpful to compare Rishi’s government with the October leadership election given his overwhelming support from many Liz and Boris backers by the time nominations closed. If you do go off the most recent contest, Rishi’s government draws just 5% of ministers from MPs who didn’t back him. It may be a cabinet drawn from many wings of the party, whether it includes any talent is another question…

mdi-timer 1 November 2022 @ 14:30 1 Nov 2022 @ 14:30 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Inferring the Outcome With Partial Data

Using the figures we have as of Sunday evening – Rishi on 153, Boris on 76, and Penny on 28 – we have 72% of MPs having made an indication. Is that enough to base an inference upon? Let’s try…

The known preference percentages break down as below:

Apply those percentages to the unknown 100 MPs we get

  • Rishi 153 + 60 = 213
  • Boris 76 + 30  = 106
  • Penny 28 + 11 = 39

Allowing for rounding errors and switchers that is in the “close to call” territory for Boris. One source in the Rishi camp on the other hand told Guido that he thought there were “too many headbangers” undeclared and Boris would pass the threshold. We’ll know soon enough…

mdi-timer 23 October 2022 @ 17:22 23 Oct 2022 @ 17:22 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Rishi Officially Declares

No slick logos, Hollywood video or glossy graphics. Lessons have been learnt…

mdi-timer 23 October 2022 @ 10:47 23 Oct 2022 @ 10:47 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Historic Slump in Tory Support Post-Resignation

Polling since Liz Truss’s resignation paints one of the bleakest pictures ever for the party. People Polling puts Labour on 53%, with the Conservatives on a miserable 14%. The Liberal Democrats are just 3 points behind. Pollster Matt Goodwin points out it is the lowest level of support for the Tories in British polling history.  He adds the party is “on life support”.

This isn’t the only psephological headache for the Conservatives. A poll from Omnisis, conducted after the resignation, gives Labour a stonking 57% with the Conservatives on 22%. The 35-point lead is an increase of 14 on Omnisis’ previous poll.

Meanwhile, according to YouGov’s Daily Question, 63% of the public, and 38% of Conservative voters, want a general election.

Just what the Tories would want as their numbers sink to an historic low…

mdi-timer 21 October 2022 @ 08:49 21 Oct 2022 @ 08:49 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
Sketch: The Bosses of the 1922 Have Barked

Turning into Westminster Hall this evening, Guido fell in behind half a dozen big, broad-backed, black-suited men walking through the gloom. This was the Executive of the 1922 Committee. They had the form and figure of gangland bosses, men who ran the racket.

The Reservoir Dogs mounted the steps at the end and paused. The biggest dog said, “We’re a little early.” They stood where they stopped under the stained glass of St Stephen. It would have been possible to loiter and eavesdrop. Report their secrets, their plans. But remembering what happened to Mr Brown, Mr Blonde and Mr Blue (the 22 Executive is as pitiless as it is ruthless) Guido walked down to the waiting media. 

Graham Brady, the chairman of the board, is a discreet man. So discreet that it was impossible to hear him unless you were crouched underneath with a microphone and a headset. A nearby journalist revealed Brady’s secret – that each Tory candidate for leader would need 100 nominations to run, and by Monday 2pm. 

A third of the party’s MPs. Signed up. The organisation needed to do that is considerable. Not many candidates can summon 100 MPs over the weekend. Can Boris, even with his talent for organisation?

But even more important, would he want to?

In Boris’ world, disaster is an opportunity for further disasters so it is worth going through those, as he must be himself – even as you are reading these words. 

First: Can he afford it? A house in Herne Hill is going to cost in the modest millions. That is a bagatelle to a man making £150,000 for an after-dinner speech (they get the dinner free, you know) but it is an impossible burden for a man making £150,000 a year (and paying for his own dinner).  

Second: He still has a Partygate investigation hanging over him and the Privileges Committee is yet to sit in judgment on the case. That committee is chaired by Chris Bryant whose answer to the question, “Did he torture him and cut off his ear?” is: “Is he a Tory?” 

Third: If he got the nominations (pretty likely) and ravished the membership (even more likely), would he be the unity candidate the party needs (unlikely)? If he and the party struggled in the polls, watch all the old fissures and fractures open up again, like horrible, medieval wounds. 

And in the wider sense, is Cakery enough to win in a recession, a cost of living crisis, a declining economy? Let Them Eat Cakery has its limitations. 

So, will Boris run? It’ll be a brave man who says he will or he won’t. Nothing is predictable anymore. 

mdi-timer 20 October 2022 @ 19:57 20 Oct 2022 @ 19:57 mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-comment View Comments
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