Archive for the 'Boris' Category


Boris the favourite as betting opens on who’ll lead the EU LEAVE campaign

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Boris trails Nigel and Theresa in the polling

As the referendum gets closer a key decision which could have huge impact on British politics in all sorts of ways is is who will lead the OUT campaign.

Survation carried out some polling for LEAVE.EU and found:-

Theresa May 22%
Nigel Farage 18%
Boris Johnson 14%

These findings are somewhat surprising. I’d have expected Boris to do far better after all he is the one English politician who invariably comes out with positive ratings.

This is a hard one and I am far from convinced that the Mayor,, the Ladbrokes favourite, would want to do it or, indeed, whether he would be the best person for the job. It would all depend on how he saw this as helping him become CON leader.

The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is a heavyweight national politician and probably has fewer negatives about her than the other main contender, Nigel Farage. The latter would be popular with his base but LEAVE needs to reach a much bigger audience than that and the UKIP lead can be described as a “Marmite” politician.

My view is is the LEAVE should choose a non-politician who carries a large degree of public support.

We shall see.

Mike Smithson


Doing “Best PM” comparisons between Corbyn & Dave is like asking US voters to choose between Obama and Trump

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

We all know that David Cameron is not planning to remain as prime minister after the next general election. So the choice will between Corbyn, unless he’s replaced in the meantime, and AN Other.

So why is it that pollsters, and presumably their media clients who agree to the form of questioning, continue with best p.m. ratings that include the current prime minister? The findings really don’t have any relevance to the next big election battle in the UK.

Thankfully, in its latest poll, Opinium has chosen to put some other options in as well although they still have included Mr Cameron.

This is very much on the American model that we are seeing at the moment as the two main parties go through the process of choosing their nominees for next year’s White House Race. Many pollsters are putting forward to those sampled a huge range of possible options to try and test the water as to which of the leading contenders would be a better choice.

The findings can have a significant effect on the nomination process itself. Those that are doing well are, understandably, going to do their best to try and highlight this the ahead of the primaries.

The Opinium poll tested three choices as CON leader in its latest survey as well as Cameron. The findings are in the chart above.

    The most surprising one, I’d suggest, is how poorly George Osborne is doing against Jeremy Corbyn. Given the very negative reaction that there’s been to the new Labour leader Osborne, surely, should have been polling substantially better than Mr Corbyn as best PM.

Clearly, at the moment, Osborne is being hit by much of the response to his tax credit move which is proving to be unpopular within his party as well as in the country.

Things have to change for George. He cannot go into a conservative leadership contest with him still just level pegging with the Labour leader.

Mike Smithson


An armed coup if Boris or Corbyn became PM? An extraordinarily large number of people say it would have their support

Sunday, October 18th, 2015


ComRes: Osborne 6% behind Boris as “best PM” and just a third say that cutting tax credits is necessary

Saturday, October 17th, 2015


39% say Boris would make a better PM than Osborne who is at 33%.

But CON voters prefer Osborne to Boris by 48% to 34%

CON lead now 13% in latest ComRes online poll for IoS/S Mirror
CON 42%
LAB 29-1
LD 7=   
UKIP 13=
No Corbyn bonus there

ComRes Cameron & Osborne have and 19 point lead over Corbyn & McDonnell on who is trusted more on the economy

Mike Smithson


Great speech by Boris – but it’s had no impact on Betfair

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

The money continues to go on George

This is a story that is probably going to go on for the next 3 to 4 years. Who is going to be the successor to David Cameron and will the prize go to one of the top two favourites?

Those are, of course, the Chancellor George Osborne and the mayor of London Boris Johnson. Until three months ago it was the mayor who occupied the favourite slot. Since then all the sentiment has moved to George. When the election eventually happens both have got very different problems.

    Boris could struggle to secure enough votes from CON MPs to make the final two. George could find it hard in the final ballot of members.

The interesting feature of the past 24 hours is that Boris has chosen to use the controversial tax credit changes as a stick to beat George. With the Sun in full throttle now on side in that battle you have to wonder whether there might be an Osborne U-turn of the type we saw repeatedly after his 2012 budget?

Mike Smithson


Ipsos-MORI boost for Boris in the Cameron successor stakes

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

But George doing better with CON voters

We’re going to have to get used to a lot of this – polling on the next Tory leader who could be the next Prime Minister. What’s striking is the huge difference between the all polled split and the numbers restricted to just Tory voters. George is in third place on 15% in the general rating but on 32% in top slot with the latter group.

The could represent a serious problem for the blue team. Just 7% of the non-CON voter split in the poll go for Osbo compared with 24% for Boris.

    This is a bit like the Corbyn dilemma within LAB. Do you choose a leader with the potential to win converts from other parties or stick with your comfort zone? The red tribe opted for the latter.

On a general matter I’ve long been highly suspicious of Boris polling. Remember how in the last London Mayoral race every single final poll over-stated him with Ken coming far closer than anyone had anticipated.

Mike Smithson


Meanwhile leadership turmoil isn’t confined to LAB. It’s not all sweetness & light in the blue team

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Osborne, the new betting favourite, accused of briefing war against the mayor

It was inevitable that when David Cameron said before the election that he wouldn’t seek a third term that this would, at some stage, trigger off media interest and speculation about succession in the Tory party.

The big difference with Labour is that the Tory battle could be about who succeeds as PM.

Everybody knows that Boris has a big interest here and in recent weeks, particularly since the budget, Osborne has moved much more into the frame. On some betting markets he has been favourite. When the Chancellor made his budget speech earlier in the month he took a humorous swing at Boris something that has not gone down well with the occupant of London’s City Hall.

Several papers have picked this up including the Telegraph whose political editor, Peter Dominiczak, writes:-

“..allies” of Mr Johnson claimed that David Cameron, Mr Osborne and Theresa May, the Home Secretary, are attempting to “humiliate” Mr Johnson and destroy his chances of becoming prime minister.“He’s trying to neuter Boris before he’s even got going”

They claimed that Mrs May and Mr Osborne are orchestrating a bid to “cut Mr Johnson down to size” and that the plot is tacitly condoned by Mr Cameron.

The big problem for Boris is that Cameron can be very helpful to the Chancellor in all sorts of ways. Osborne plays a huge part in ministerial appointments and, no doubt, will have big say in what job Boris gets after he steps down as mayor next May. Osborne, also, is likely to be told of Dave’s plans well before Johnson and Cameron can control the timing to help his chancellor.


Schrödinger’s referendum as Boris wants voters to vote both Yes and No to leaving the EU

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

Boris for PB

Today’s Sunday Times is reporting (££)

BORIS JOHNSON is preparing to call for a “no” vote in Britain’s referendum on the European Union in an attempt to extract greater concessions from Brussels than David Cameron is demanding.

In a stance that puts him on a collision course with the prime minister, the mayor of London believes Britain should reject any deal Cameron puts forward because the EU will not give enough ground.

Johnson has told friends that a “no” vote is desirable because it would prompt Brussels to offer a much better deal, which the public could then support in a second referendum.

Johnson said: “We need to be bold. You have to show them that you are serious.”

The mayor’s views, shared with friends last week, will send shockwaves through Downing Street. Both the “yes” and “no” camps had assumed that he would support Cameron in arguing for Britain to vote yes.

This strategy by Boris is fraught with risks for him, were IN to win, particularly comfortably, then he will lose some of his electoral lustre. It is also likely to anger David Cameron no end, when Boris ceases to be Mayor next May, it is anticipated he would get a senior cabinet role, Cameron might punish Boris for this, which might impact negatively on Boris’ political future.

His strategy is also likely to annoy the OUT movement, what he is effectively telling them is, if we vote to leave the EU, I’m going to try and re-run the referendum to keep us in the EU, which seems very undemocratic and realise all their worst fears about the EU and this referendum process. But on one level, the OUT movement will be delighted to have a popular big hitter on their side, who may well end being the face of OUT.

Overall, I read this intervention by Boris as him seeing his chances of succeeding David Cameron diminishing and is a transparent and cynical attempt to increase his chances by appealing to the Outers in the Tory party, who will form a substantial part of the voters who will elect the next Tory leader.

Plus, were the UK to vote to leave the EU, that would almost certainly trigger Cameron’s resignation and Boris might also benefit from that, as Mike and others have speculated, Cameron going at time of his own choosing benefits George Osborne in the succession, Cameron being forced out at a time not of his choosing, doesn’t help Osborne.


PS – The Sunday Times say Boris made his comments, after reading a blog by Dominic Cummings, the former Tory aide who is organising the “no” campaign, which is discussed here on the Spectator Coffee House Blog, link is here and is well worth reading.