‘Willing to resist’ Boris Johnson will spark ‘Tory civil war’ before resigning
Boris Johnson says 'I'm going to get on with my job'
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The Tory vote earlier this week revealed that a significant portion of the Conservative Party has become disaffected with Boris Johnson. Nearly half – 41 percent – of the party’s MPs voted no confidence in the Prime Minister on Monday, with 59 percent supporting him. The margin was the largest of any Conservative leader in recent memory and will have many wondering whether it has spelt his end.
Conservative MPs have dismantled party leaders for decades, with notable no-confidence votes cast against Theresa May and Margaret Thatcher before her.
Mrs May had more support than her successor, holding favour from 63 percent of her party in 2018.
And Mrs Thatcher had a similar margin to Mr Johnson’s with 41 percent opposing, 55 percent in favour and four percent abstaining.
Both eventually opted to resign when they realised party favour had turned against them, with Mrs May’s resignation paving the way for Mr Johnson’s premiership.
But experts don’t believe the Prime Minister will want to follow her lead.
Elizabeth Carter, a professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, told Express.co.uk: “Though Thatcher and May resigned after surviving a vote of no confidence, it’s hard for me to see Johnson resigning in the near future.
“I think a civil war would be more likely as his willing resignation.
“He has a different character from May especially, and from Thatcher as well.”
“I think he would be less likely to heed feedback from his party than May and Thatcher were, and ultimately he might be more willing to resist for longer any calls to resign.”
Mr Johnson has declared no intention to resign, stating after the vote that it offered his Government a “golden chance” to work beyond the controversy.
He added the party would “win again” if it could unite, but voters may not prove easily persuaded.
A snap poll conducted by YouGov ahead of the vote on Monday found that an overwhelming majority of Britons wanted the Prime Minister gone.
The organisation quizzed 3,027 Britons on their opinion of Mr Johnson ahead of the vote, and 60 percent said they thought Tory MPs should vote him out.
Only 27 percent of the sample said they would prefer MPs vote to keep him in Number 10.
Distaste for the Prime Minister even spread to 2019 voters, the poll found.
While most – 59 percent – wanted their MPs to support Mr Johnson, one in three wanted him removed.
Those results mean that over the next few weeks when the Prime Minister must fight two by-elections – one in Wakefield and another in Tiverton and Honiton – he may struggle to emerge successful.
Public opinion mounting against him means that pollsters are already predicting a Labour victory in the party’s former Wakefield constituency by 48 percent to 28 percent.
And the Liberal Democrats are preparing to flip Tiverton and Honiton, where the Tories hold a 25,000 majority.
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