- Prior to the recent scandals, Boris Johnson was tipped to be prime minister for a decade.
- But now, his grip on power is weakening — and leadership rivals are emerging.
It is almost unthinkable, but thinking about it, Conservative MPs most definitely are.
Just two years after Boris Johnson secured the party's biggest victory since Margaret Thatcher's 1987 win, his backbenchers are openly discussing his departure —and who will succeed him.
A few weeks ago, Conservative figures suggested Johnson could call a snap election to refresh his majority and cement his hold on power for another five years. Pundits predicted he could be in Number 10 for a decade.Advertisement
But then came successive leaks, allegations of conflicts of interest, self-dealing sleaze, lockdown-busting parties, and a slew of polls giving Labour a growing lead. Now there is a real chance that Johnson's tenure could be shorter than Theresa May's.
May held the reins for just three years before resigning as post-Brexit negotiations and a hung parliament paralyzed her government and Westminster.
In the summer of 2019, Johnson was waiting in the wings. The leadership campaign pitted Johnson against Sajid Javid and Matt Hancock, men he would later join his Cabinet. Rory Stewart garnered some support as a dark horse candidate, while Jeremy Hunt got down to the final two — and, ultimately, paid for it with a seat on the backbenches.