Politics

Could Boris Johnson lose his seat within the subsequent election? | Boris Johnson


Could Boris Johnson lose his seat on the subsequent common election? It’s a query that may have been risible for another prime minister, however defeat in his Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency just isn’t unthinkable.

The native elections in London earlier this month noticed a considerable swing in the direction of Labour. A YouGov ballot this weekend suggests Johnson would lose his seat if an election have been held tomorrow. Electoral Calculus, which analyses nationwide polling knowledge, can also be tentatively favouring a Labour win within the west London constituency.

“He’s hanging on at the top, which pleases me no end because he’s such an unpopular guy now,” stated David Williams, chairman of Hillingdon Labour. “Locally, he’s not a political asset – he didn’t appear in the local elections. So I want to see him go and I want him to stay at the same time – it’s a very strange feeling.”

It would require a hefty swing to beat Johnson’s 15% majority. But Williams stated constituency boundary modifications will add Northolt to the seat, a city he calls “a strong Labour area”. Meanwhile, younger commuters are streaming from internal London to outer boroughs, and Hillingdon isn’t any exception, particularly with a brand new Elizabeth line station in Johnson’s constituency.

Perhaps the most important native challenge is the way forward for Heathrow’s third runway. Tory managed Hillingdon council can also be fighting a £38m deficit, regardless of a £25m authorities bailout in March. One of the options is to construct extra housing, which attracts extra council taxpayers and part 106 funds from builders, earmarked for brand new facilities.

But the electoral price of improvement is felt in locations like Yiewsley, a battleground within the south of the constituency. Labour took each council seats from the Tories in May, fuelled by opposition to the council’s plans to interchange the library with a six-storey block of flats and new library, with a few of it on automobile parking for Yiewsley Park. The swimming pool was demolished 14 years in the past and the land continues to be vacant regardless of guarantees of a brand new leisure centre. With threats by the marketing campaign teams of judicial critiques and protests, the problem appears to be like more likely to drag on into subsequent 12 months and past, making it a sizzling native challenge for Johnson.

Debbi King, of the Yiewsley.org marketing campaign group, stated: “It will have a big impact – it has just been forced through so far.” Johnson’s responses have been impartial till now, however popping out in opposition to the plans would imply a confrontation with Tory councillors who already blame Downing Street for his or her monetary difficulties.

Boris Johnson plays boules with care-home residents
Boris Johnson performs boules with care-home residents within the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency he has held since 2015. Photograph: Leon Neal/Getty Images

The challenge comes up on Yiewsley’s excessive avenue. Outside a department of Wenzel’s the Bakers, Paula Grimes, a charity employee, feels betrayed by the council’s strategy to the swimming pool and Yiewsley Park, though she voted for Johnson final time and can do once more. “There’s a lot of things bigger than lockdown parties,” she stated, mentioning Ukraine and rising meals costs. “I don’t think people could cope with a big change.”

Her companion, Daniel McGuinness, disagrees vehemently. He resents Johnson’s choice to lockdown through the pandemic. “I have absolutely no time for the man whatsoever,” he stated. “He comes across as a buffoon. I struggled during lockdown.”

Johnson will probably be happier about divisions between Labour’s headquarters and Hillingdon’s left-leaning activists. Williams stated the celebration was hampered within the native elections as a result of they weren’t allowed to pick candidates till shortly earlier than the deadline for nominations. “The national party is holding back on us selecting a [parliamentary] candidate,” he stated. There isn’t any scarcity of sturdy contenders although. “Everyone wants to be the knight that slays the dragon.”

Senior Labour figures say that Uxbridge and South Ruislip must be among the many 125 seats Labour wins whether it is to safe a majority on the subsequent election. In truth, in keeping with Electoral Calculus, it might fall to Labour even when the celebration was 25 seats wanting an total majority.

However, prime ministers have a a lot bigger private vote than most MPs. Margaret Thatcher held Finchley comfortably regardless of it not being a theoretically protected seat, in keeping with Electoral Calculus’s founder, Martin Baxter. Johnson’s seat “looks competitive”, he stated. “What probably won’t happen is that Johnson would lose his seat but the Conservatives stay in power. The PM can’t lose his own seat without the Conservatives losing their parliamentary majority.”

One senior Tory aware of the realm stated an enormous upset “is possible” and Johnson may lose, suggesting that liberal Tories who backed David Cameron and Theresa May have been deeply unimpressed with the PM. However, he stated non-traditional Tory voters nonetheless appreciated Johnson.

“It’s fair to say that anybody at any stage these days can be in trouble,” he stated. “Anything is possible. But the local council is Conservative and popular. There are good campaigners there, and Johnson got more than 50% of the vote last time. I think the economy will be the thing – and how people are feeling personally. It’s also possible that he doesn’t stand again, if he goes.”

But there are different choices for Johnson. He may do the “chicken run” and stand in a unique seat, though doing so could be seen as conceding defeat – a nasty search for a chief minister. Assuming, after all, that by the point the subsequent election rolls round, he’s nonetheless in No 10.



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