From the 88 constituencies which the Conservatives either (a) won from Labour in 2019, or (b) currently hold with a majority of less than 15pts over Labour, YouGov’s modelling predicts that just three would remain in Conservative hands: Ashfield, Bassetlaw, and Dudley North. This finding was reported just days before the vote of no confidence was held on June 6th.
While Conservative MPs voted in favour of Boris Johnson remaining as PM by 211 to 148, the results show that Mister Johnson has the support of less than a third of the House of Commons.
Some Conservative MPs, such as Andrew Bridgen, were making their vote of no confidence known before the votes were even cast.
“Let me be clear,” writes Bridgen in a recent editorial, “If we get the opportunity to move on from the leadership of Boris Johnson, the next Prime Minister will have to be an active Brexiteer. We need someone who has been and is a political signpost for the nation, not just a weathervane.”
Other MPs, such as Liz Truss, had expressed their continued support of the PM publicly before and after the voting.
Author Rory Stewart points out that the free vote spoke volumes.
While Mr Johnson’s role as Prime Minister is safe for now, it is becoming more likely that his replacement is in the making, and Tories are biding for time to find the best candidate to win the next general election and keep them on the Conservative Party payroll. Anyone stepping into the PM’s shoes will be dealing with a war in Europe and a Cost-of-Living crisis, so the candidate will have to prove they have staying power.
Conservative resignations and votes for, however, much like the one made by MP John Lamont, show waning confidence and loyalty to Mr Johnson.
When is the next general election?
The next general election is scheduled for Thursday, 2 May 2024, but that could be brought forward should the PM wish, but he is going to need to prove himself following Partygate and other questionable policies that members of his Cabinet have put in place, such as those surrounding the refugee crisis and tax rises.
Two-thirds of MPs would need to back a motion for an early general election. With 650 seats in the House of Commons, 434 MPs would need to support the formal proposal, according to inews.
Given the current state of the polls, it is very unlikely that Mr Johnson will choose to do this any time soon.
Public losing confidence despite vote of confidence win
A new YouGov snap poll finds, by 60% to 27%, the British public think Conservative MPs should vote to remove Johnson from Downing Street.
Most of those who backed the Conservatives at the 2019 general election (59%) want their MPs to support Johnson. However, one in three (32%) say they should vote to remove him.
Is Labour any better equipped to deal with the cost of living crisis?
The memo on the vote of no confidence sent to Tory MPs also highlights how the public is “anxious and struggling” with the cost of living – and that backing Johnson will allow him to “get on with the job” of fixing it, according to YouGov.
However, regardless of the vote, the public has serious concerns about the government’s ability to tackle the issue. Six in ten Britons (61%) say the government lacks the right policies and ideas to deal with the crisis, according to YouGov. This includes over a third (37%) who think they “definitely” do not.
Only 26% say they think the government has the right ideas and policies to deal with the cost of living – including just 7% who say they “definitely” do.
The government retains the confidence of its own supporters, as 58% of Conservative voters say they think the government has the right plans to bring the issue to heel. However, a sizeable proportion (35%) doubt that the current government has what it takes.