The "Stop Boris" campaign is in full swing, but it's as likely to be as much of a success as the "Anybody But Trump" Campaign in 2016.
Stop Boris Theory
- Boris has to beat out all of the other Brexiteers. He may fail.
- If Boris survives to the final round, he still has to beat out someone who promises to secure a deal.
- Tories will rally around the second choice.
For starters, don't confuse betting odds with true odd. Betters are not reliable predictors of elections. Bookies arrange their books (or at least attempt to), based on bets people make. The bookies don't care who wins or loses if their books are properly balanced. Betting is not a scientific poll.
Missing the Boat
Tory peer Lord Hayward said there was a "striking antipathy" towards the former Foreign Secretary in traditional Tory areas like the Home Counties.
The peer said whoever becomes the next Tory leader must win over those who voted Leave in 2016 if the party is to stand any chance of victory.
However, he said they must also be "transfer-friendly", meaning they appeal to floating voters more interested in competent government.
By that measurement, Mr Johnson scores badly compared to leadership rivals Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt. "Boris is pitching to MPs at the moment saying 'I am the one who will win'," Lord Hayward said.
Hayward does not provide "expert analysis".
Instead, Hayward provides heaping cups of Remainer sap in the form of the same misguided Remainer theories that led to the demise of Theresa May.
Similarly, Independent writer John Rentoul misses the mark by a mile with his analysis: Boris Johnson is going to blow it – and it will be Michael Gove who will pip him to become prime minister.
These people are delusional Remainers.
Rise of the Brexit Party
- Gove and Hunt are as pathetic as Theresa May.
- Wishy-washy compromise is not the way to go.
- Nigel Farage's Brexit Party provides all the evidence one needs.
MP's Rally Around Boris
Eurointelligence provides excellent analysis of what's really taking place.
We are full of admiration for the sporting spirit of the British media. But leadership race feels to us like a bit of a misnomer for what is currently dominating Tory and UK politics. It is not really a race. It may not even be a competition. Boris Johnson has been in pole position from the start, and he is now building on his lead.
The Times has a story this morning that three Remain-supporting Tory junior ministers are supporting Johnson. They said that he is the only candidate who can save the party from extinction. Self-preservation - not Brexit - has suddenly become the main issue for the Tories. Johnson is the only candidate with a chance to defeat Jeremy Corbyn in a general election. MPs have strong views on Brexit. But they have even stronger views on the importance of holding their own seats. They are supporting the leader most likely to ensure their political survival.
The main effect of Farage on British politics is not his own election results, but his impact on the Tories. Like Farage, Johnson draws on the benefit of a simple message. Farage frames the argument as one of Brexit versus betrayal. For Johnson it is a choice between Brexit and the extinction of the Tory party.
The whole stop-Boris campaign some MPs talked about never made sense to us because of the way the vote is structured. Starting Thursday next week, MPs will vote for a shortlist of two candidates in four elimination rounds. The remaining three votes will take place June 18, 19 and 20. Johnson has so far received public endorsements by forty MPs, which will be enough to get him into the third round of voting. Michael Gove and Jeremy Hunt have twenty-six each.
Tory members will then choose one of the two from the shortlist. We know that Johnson is the strong favourite among the party faithful. If he were to drop out for some reason, we expect the winner to be one of the other Brexiteers - Dominique Raab for instance. We doubt that Tories will vote for Gove, given his support for Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. A recent story in the Daily Telegraph claimed Gove proposed a Brexit extension until 2020 in a cabinet meeting. That makes him essentially unelectable in view of the Farage threat. We cannot see the Tories voting for any candidate who fails to deliver Brexit before general elections. And these might arrive early, given the narrow majority in the House of Commons.
Eurointelligence commented "MPs have strong views on Brexit. But they have even stronger views on the importance of holding their own seats."
Change UK Provides Lesson in Reality
The misguided set of eleven "Change UK" MPs is now down to five.
"Change UK" is a new political party formed by former Labour and Tory MPs who wanted to Remain.
What the hell kind of change is that?
Six of Change UK’s 11 MPs, including its spokesman, Chuka Umunna, and interim leader Heidi Allen, have abandoned the fledgling party after its dire performance at the European elections.
Message is Clear
Change UK will soon vanish. It elected zero MPs in the EU parliament elections and will elect zero MPs in the next UK general election.
Six Change UK politicians already abandoned the party out of self-preservation.
The best way for politicians to keep their job is to deliver Brexit.
Neither Hunt nor Gove will do that.
One way or another a die-hard no-deal Brexiteer (Johnson or Dominic Raab) will properly deliver Brexit.
Mike "Mish" Shedlock