Polling guru says Boris Johnson faces battle to hold seat - 'Likely to be vulnerable'

Sources close to the former Prime Minister said that he intends to stand again as MP for Uxbridge in west London

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POLLING expert Sir John Curtice says Boris Johnson faces a struggle to be re-elected as an MP if Labour maintains a substantial lead over the Tories.

He was commenting after sources close to the former Prime Minister said that he intends to stand again as MP for Uxbridge in west London.

Sir John, professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde, told GB News: “It’s not the world's safest constituency. Boris Johnson’s majority at the last election was 15% over Labour. Well, that's not much better than the Conservatives national lead over Labour which was 12%.

“So, from that you can fairly rapidly work out that if the Conservatives are more than a point or two behind in the polls, that Mr Johnson seat is likely to be vulnerable .

“Now, it will get redrawn slightly by the boundary review that's currently going through. So that 15% figure is still going to be a reasonably good guide to what he's got to defend. And of course, at the moment, the Conservatives are more than 20 points behind in most of the opinion polls.

“Mr Johnson, is evidently relatively optimistic, either about his party's chances of reducing Labour's lead or at least about his own personal abilities to hang on to his seat, even against what might still prove to be a rather difficult nationwide time.

“But of course, Mr Johnson does have form as a rather successful electoral campaigner.”

Boris Johnson was reportedly considering a second run for the role of Prime Minister.
Boris Johnson was reportedly considering a second run for the role of Prime Minister.

Speaking to Mark Longhurst on GB News, Sir John continued: “There had previously been some speculation that maybe Mr Johnson would exit his Uxbridge seat and look for somewhere safer so that he might be able to withstand the next election and still be in the parliamentary party after the next election.

Asked about apparent unease in the Tory Party about Rishi Sunak’s leadership, he said: “Mr Sunak in the end was clearly defeated by Liz Truss in the Tory leadership contest and Mr Sunak is only there because in the end Liz Truss messed up the period when she became Prime Minister.

“I think the honest truth is that if the Conservatives do lose the next election, and assuming Mr Sunak is still leader at that time, I’m not sure that many people would bet either on his ability to survive as Prime Minister and survive as leader of his party.

“In those circumstances I’m not entirely sure whether Mr Sunak would necessarily regard himself as the best person to lead his party in those circumstances. Mr Sunak is perhaps, at the end of the day, something of a technocrat and therefore perhaps somebody you might want to put in the post at 10 Downing Street, but not necessarily somebody to go through that hard slog of being Leader of the Opposition.

“The question is, however, would Mr Johnson fancy that hard slog either?”