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Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have leapt to a fourteen-point lead in opinion polls after he expelled 21 rebel MPs from his benches.
The Prime Minister has had a chaotic week, beginning with a familial bloodbath not seen since the Miliband-era which saw Johnson’s brother resign from the Government. It culminated with a public renouncement of his approach to Brexit negotiations by one of his most senior ministers, Amber Rudd, leading to her quitting the party. Johnson might have been expecting to be faced with some rather sobering polling figures in the Sunday papers as he sat down to breakfast in Number 10 this weekend.
But such fears have not materialised, which is perhaps why Jeremy ‘Chlorinated Chicken‘ Corbyn has been so reluctant to vote for the General Election he has been begging for almost every day for the past two years. The Labour Party has dropped four points to a mere 21%, only two points ahead of the Liberal Democrats, whose MPs number less than 10% of Labour’s green-bench body count.
"If Parliament is unable to decide on Brexit it would be better to have a snap General Election"
— Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 7, 2019
Half of the electorate now think that the Conservative Party has effectively become the Brexit Party. This has resulted in over half of Leave voters (53%) saying that they will vote Conservative in the next general election. That is the highest proportion since March when Theresa May’s government was on track to take Britain out of the EU without a deal.
The poll, commissioned by YouGov on 5-6 September, found that the Conservatives have the support of 35% of voters, Labour is favoured by 21%, the Liberal Democrats by 19%, and the Brexit Party by 12%. This means that Leave-supporting parties now make up at least 47% of the vote share, whilst the Remain share dwindles to 40%, and 32% when we take into account that around 35% of Labour supporters voted Leave in 2016.
An Opinium poll for the Observer held between 4-6 September also found Johnson has a strong lead over Labour, with 35% saying they would vote Conservative and 25% saying they would vote Labour. Adam Drummond, head of political polling at Opinium, said that these results have come about because, ‘Boris Johnson has invited the clear disapproval of Remainers on Brexit, in return for the clear backing of leave voters. On the other hand, opposition leaders have managed to unite Leave voters in disapproving of their response to the government without succeeding in wholeheartedly winning over Remainers‘.
Another week of “devastating” resignations of remoaners from the Tory Party, and “cataclysmic” advisories from the “evil” Dominic Cummings should be enough to put them above 50%.
— Jane O'brien (@Jane0brien) September 8, 2019
Boris Johnson’s recent clashes with the Remainer-dominated Parliament have been largely characterised as damaging for him, with the Guardian branding his Government as ‘chaotic‘, and London protesters demanding that he ‘stop the coup‘ in a reference to the routine prorogation of the lengthiest Parliamentary session in over 400 years. In contrast, successful Remainer attempts to push through the Surrender Bill (a clear attempt by opposition parties to embarrass Johnson by mandating the Prime Minister to beg the EU for an extension, and to accept whatever terms they demand) and unsuccessfully sue the Government, have earned the title from the media of the ‘Rebel Alliance‘.
Despite savage, politically motivated, short-sighted attempts to tie Boris Johnson’s hands at the negotiating table, the people remain increasingly behind his Brexit strategy of taking Britain out of the EU on 31 October, ‘do or die‘. Johnson’s Churchillian claim that he would rather be ‘dead in a ditch‘ (thus implying that he is willing to break the law) than beg Brussels for an Article 50 extension has earned him the respect of British voters. This is shown by a 20% personal approval lead over Opposition Leader ‘Chlorinated Chicken‘ Corbyn, who has been condemned for running scared of a People’s General Election. This is despite gaining the reassurances he demanded over its prospective date. One reason for Corbyn’s flip-flopping on an election could be the suggestion that after October 31, the Brexit Party’s support is likely to surge, thus splitting the Leave vote and increasing the chances of a Labour government through the back door.
The Conservatives have now held a consecutive steady lead in the polls against Labour in the nearly two months since Johnson became leader, and despite the chances of a People’s General Election on Brexit dwindling after opposition parties ran scared, the Tory, Leave-supporting surge is showing no signs of slowing down.