Archive for the 'Boris' Category


Judging by his betting price collapse Boris’s back LEAVE decision hasn’t been good for his career ambitions

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

If the vote is REMAIN the ex-mayor could be the scapegoat

Yesterday the Daily Mail’s renowned columnist, Katie Hopkins had a big go at the ex-Mayor under the heading “I thought Boris was going to save Britain from the EU, instead he has turned out to be a big fat fraud.”

In it she registered in her own inimitable style her disappointment at Johnson’s performance in the three months since he made his announcement on February 21st. She concludes:

If the Brexit side does lose, much of the blame will lie with Boris – who will have no compunction about scampering back aboard the government bus if he gets half a chance.

So let’s hope Cameron doesn’t forgive him. Because I won’t.

Whatever happens on June 23rd there will be a huge fall-out across the political scene but most of all within the Conservative party. A LEAVE win or a very narrow REMAIN victory look set to be the peg for Cameron’s exit and we will move into contest.

To become Tory leader Boris has first to surmount the parliamentary test and come in the top two of exhaustive ballots of party MPs. Assuming Osborne or an Osbo-backed contender gets one of those slots the big fight looks set to be amongst the Brexiters. That could be down to “Boris” or the “Stop Boris” choice. So the ex-Mayor’s future could be in the hands of his fellow BREXIT Tory MPs and their perception of his contribution to the outcome will be crucial.

It has been said ever since his decision on February to back leave that he was doing this solely for career purposes. Maybe that will turn out to have been a huge gamble that failed.

Mike Smithson


The Trump-Boris mural on the Bristol wall – the betting chances of what’s depicted actually happening

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Winner 2016 White House Race

Next CON leader


A post Brexit vote recession could cost the Tories the next election

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Brexiteers are in danger of being blamed for the next recession even if it has nothing do with Brexit

On one side we have, inter alia, the Prime Minister, the Chancellor, and the great and the good, from the IMF, the OECD, NIESR, The Bank of England, and their Governor, Mark Carney, who the polls suggest is political Kryptonite against Leave, forecasting Brexit as being somewhere from very bad to a visit from the Four Horsemen for the UK economy.

On the other side you have Leavers like Tory Priti Patel who said “The EU-funded IMF should not interfere in our democratic debate … It appears the chancellor is cashing in favours to [Christine] Lagarde in order to encourage the IMF to bully the British people.” Some Leavers say the Treasury’s figure that every household would lose £4,300 was a bargain, another said the ‘insecurity [of Brexit] is fantastic’, whilst another prominent Leaver said publicly he would would welcome the economic apocalypse of Brexit, and would be delighted to provide free accommodation to the Four Horsemen whilst they visited the UK*.

So the meme that Brexit is bad for the economy has been effectively seeded, and a stand alone UK recession in the short term after a Brexit vote could see that meme germinate in a way that is not optimal for the Tories, especially if a Leaver succeeds David Cameron.

In various polls, the voters generally sees Brexit as the worst option for the economy, and for them personally, than remaining in the EU, even in the polls that have Leave ahead, so it is easy to see that seed has been planted in the minds of voters.

At the last general election two of the Tory Party’s strongest assets were David Cameron and their stewardship of the economy, they will be fighting the next election without the former. A post Brexit vote recession means they could be fighting without the latter asset too. 

Sometimes perceptions matter more than the facts, Leavers shouldn’t complain, we saw it how badly the ONS report on National Insurance figures was reported this week, as this tweet  and this article show.

The events of Black Wednesday helped in part to keep the Tory Party out of power for thirteen years, and the legacy of the 2008 credit crunch has the contributed to Labour losing the last two general elections.

When the voters can blame the government for an avoidable economic disaster, they don’t forget it. They know politicians don’t have the ability to abolish boom and bust, that’s why for example the Tories didn’t lose the 1983 and 1992 general elections, which came shortly after/during recessions. 

As the mantra goes, oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them. Labour could say a post Brexit vote recession was foretold, and the Leavers ignored their warnings, even if the recession is a normal cyclical recession. 

Inadvertently the Tory Party may have salted their own electoral ground during this referendum campaign, it’s almost like if after The Third Punic War, The Roman Republic had accidentally salted Rome instead of Carthage.


*That last one isn’t true, but with the way this campaign is going with talk of armed conflict if we leave and the EU being like Hitler, it is entirely possible for someone to say something that outlandish in the remaining forty days of this campaign.


Boris’s flexible approach to the truth appears to be catching up with him

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

A narrative is starting to develop which could destroy the favourite’s leadership ambitions


Boris now 4th in ConHome members preferred leader poll. Gove extends lead

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

ConHome leader

The monthly ConHome members survey of preferred next party leader is just out and sees Michael Gove once again top extending his total by five points.

The former Education Secretary is the fourth person to have been there this year because it does have a tendency to chop and change. Thus in January, Theresa May was top, then it was Liam Fox, and in March Boris moved into poll position. The other big mover is Theresa May up five on April.

Boris is suffering, I’d suggest, by his less than sure footed approach to the BREXIT referendum with his blustering style raising questions about him as a future PM. By contrast Gove is having a good referendum campaign.

What makes the survey important is that it is of party members only – the group who will make the final choice when Dave does step down. It also did very well with the 2005 race that saw Cameron crowned as leader.

Live Next CON leader Betfair odds

Mike Smithson


The Mayor, the pro-IN Mayor’s Dad and the LAB approach to EURef

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Boris Johnson announces he will back Brexit campaign YouTube

Donald Brind on how the campaign is unfolding


“It’s up to you in the Labour Party to save us.” I was too polite to reply: “From your son, you mean?”, for this was Stanley Johnson, the charming father of boorish Boris, the Brexiteer.

Boris is the black sheep of the Johnson clan. As is well known, his decision to join the Leave camp put him in opposition not just to his father but also to his brother Jo, the Higher education Minister and his sister Rachel Johnson senior and I were at the launch of a novel, Pax 1934-1941 which is set in a darker period for relations between Britain and Europe. Stanley Johnson describes himself as a lifelong “Europeanist”. He was a Tory MEP and also worked in the European Commission. He thinks his son may have made a “career ending” choice”. 

I agreed with Johnson senior that Labour voters were likely to play a decisive role in the referendum. I took the opportunity to explain the importance of Jeremy Corbyn’s “warts and all” support for the Remain campaign. It captures the mood of many workers who see the EU as wedded to austerity but vital for protecting rights in the workplace. The Labour’s leader’s pledge to seek to reform the Union from within could be vital in making sure Labour supporters turn out and vote.

I also recommended to Boris’ dad an article by one of Labour’s rising stars Seema Malhotra on the importance of tackling the generational divide. She pointed to a recent YouGov poll showing a three-to-one majority amongst under 30s in favour of staying in while among the over-60 the leavers outnumber the stayers by 63% to 37%.

“The generation born in the 1990s believe that walking away from the European Union will damage the British economy and endanger their chances to get on and do well. But that could happen if their parents and grandparents stick with their current intentions to vote to Leave.” Turnout would be crucial, she said. “The hopes of the Leave campaign are pinned on the support of older voters – and on a low turnout.”

This presents a double challenge for Labour which is overwhelmingly in support of Remain. She said the party has to mobilise and motivate Labour supporters of all ages to achieve a high turnout – and to appeal to those planning to vote Leave to “Think Again”.

They should focus on what walking away would mean for their children and their grandchildren.

“My appeal to older people is – “Listen to the young people of Britain. Take note of what they think is best for their future.” She called for a “conversation between the generations”, drawing inspiration from last year’s Irish referendum campaign when parents and grandparents were persuaded to support equal marriage.

There is expected to be a strong youth theme when Jeremy Corbyn steps up EU campaigning after the local elections. He met Barak Obama after the US president’s town inspirational town-hall style meeting with young people. The Obama visit has put the Leave campaign on the back foot.

Which, brings us back to Stanley Johnson’s lad. Boris Johnson’s biographer, Andrew Gimson, delivered a scathing account of his run-in with the president in the Mail . Game, set and match to the President” is Gimson’s verdict.

But why, asks the biographer, “did Boris ever get himself into a contest he was so likely to lose? The answer is that as well as being a politician, he is a journalist, and he needed to find an intro to his article which would grab the reader’s attention. “He was short of time, so he reached for the tired old Churchill anecdote and gave it a bit more edge by referring to ‘the part-Kenyan President’ – a phrase which would make people wonder whether Boris was being racist.”

“He was not being racist, but he was being inaccurate. For Boris has never set any store by the pedantic virtue of getting his facts right.”

Echoing Stanley’s Johnson’s view that joining Brexit was a “career ending move” for his son, the Mail headline asks “Has Obama busted Boris? … the President exposed the Brexit leader as a bogus… and unlikely PM.”

Maybe that’s right – maybe it isn’t.


Donald Brind


CON voters give Dave a net 24% lead over Boris on whose EU statements/claims are trusted

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Datawrapper    SNnbN    Publish

Why LEAVE has to undermine the PM

It is said, though I have no independent verification, that the Lynton Crosby analysis of the referendum is that the outers have to totally undermine Cameron’s reputation if they are to have a chance.

With Corbyn now coming off the fence which should encourage the Labour IN vote current CON voters are a major battleground between IN and OUT. The polls vary but all have LEAVE ahead amongst this voting segment but the gap needs to be significantly larger than it is. The above chart is a good illustration of why the CON vote could be decisive.

As can be seen at the moment David Cameron enjoys a very significant net lead over Boris Johnson when it comes to who Conservative voters trust on comments and statements in relation to the referendum.

Now the Mayor has become the de facto head of LEAVE numbers like these look set to give us good pointers.

Mike Smithson


If next CON leader betting prices are indicator then Boris leadership ambitions not helped by BREXIT campaign

Sunday, April 10th, 2016