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Boris Johnson rules out snap election because voters want him to fuck off

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Boris Johnson has ruled out calling a snap general election as allies have admitted voters will not appreciate an early vote aimed at saving his prime ministership.

The move came as an exclusive poll for The Independent suggested the Conservative Party would be defeated if a poll was called now, with Labor just short of an overall majority but the Prime Minister potentially losing his own seat. He said Mr Johnson’s personal standing among voters plummeted following Sue Gray’s report on party portal and the failed coup attempt of its own deputies.

But the pressure on Mr Johnson was eased by the announcement that a House of Commons inquiry into claims he lied to Parliament about Downing Street parties will not take witness evidence until autumn, granting him a few months of grace to regain his post.

As the ranks of Tory MPs calling for Mr Johnson’s impeachment have grown in recent weeks, prime ministers’ advisers have used the threat of a snap poll and the possible loss of vulnerable seats to align wavering MPs.

But a source close to Mr Johnson has dismissed the chances of him calling a snap election this year, conceding that cutting and running at a time when he holds a dominant Commons majority would not be credible to voters.

The prime minister won an 80-seat majority, people want us to use him to bullshit, rather than hold another vote, the source said.

Today’s poll by Savanta suggests a snap election could spell disaster for Mr Johnson, with Labor extending their one-point lead from last month to seven, to 41% against 34% for the Tories and 10% for the Liberal Democrats.

According to the Electoral Calculator, this would translate to a suspended parliament with the Keir Starmers party about a dozen short of an overall majority in the House of Commons and able to form a shaky administration with Lib Dem backing. The Tories could lose more than 120 MPs and Mr Johnson’s Uxbridge seat would be one of those under threat.

The inquiry showed a slump in Mr Johnson’s personal notes in a month in which he was slammed in the Partygate report, narrowly escaped ejection by his own MPs and saw Tories humiliated in by-elections in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton.

Satisfaction with the PM’s performance dropped to -35, with only 30% saying he was doing a good job and 65% saying he was doing a bad job.

That compared to -26 in a similar poll taken on May 21 and 22, just days before Ms Grays’ explosive report on lockdown breaches in Downing Street was published.

The survey also suggested that Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s fortunes have since started to recover. The IndependentThe revelation of his wife’s non-dom status knocked him from his position as frontrunner to succeed Mr Johnson.

After his announcement of a $15 billion package to help households cope with soaring prices, the chancellors’ satisfaction rating fell from -20 to -2, and he was reinstated as a challenger on closer to Mr. Johnson.

Some 18% named the Prime Minister as the best candidate for Tory leadership (down four points since last month), compared to 13% for Mr Sunak (+5), 8% for Jeremy Hunt (unchanged) and 6 % each for Liz. Truss and Sajid Javid (unchanged).

David Canzini, senior strategist at No 10, reportedly warned a group of Tory MPs facing close re-election battles last month that a snap election could be called.

Speculation about the possibility of an election as early as autumn 2022 has been high in Westminster in recent weeks.

Tory rebel MPs feared Mr Johnson would respond to a coup attempt by going to the polls this autumn to win a new term, with one saying he was crazy enough to bring down any the House.

The governments decision to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act introduced by David Cameron means Mr Johnson is free to call an election when he chooses and does not have to wait until the final date in 2024.

The Prime Minister, currently at the NATO summit in Madrid, would not be attracted to an early election when he is grilled by journalists.

Asked if he was considering the plan, the Prime Minister said the media was free to make predictions on politics but insisted he would not cross over and start talking about Politics.

Asked again if he was leaning towards an early election, he replied: Oh, for heaven’s sake! I’m not offering comment, what I’m trying to make clear to you is that I’m here to comment on the policy, the government’s agenda.

It came as the group of all-party MPs on the Privileges Committee unanimously backed Labor great Harriet Harman to chair the inquiry that could determine Mr Johnson’s fate as Prime Minister.

In a move apparently intended to encourage Downing Street whistleblowers to come forward, MPs said they were willing to collect anonymous evidence. But there has been no decision on whether Mr Johnson and other witnesses will be able to testify behind closed doors or be subjected to a public grilling in front of television cameras.

Tory rebel MPs believe the inquiry could provide a flashpoint for a new leadership challenge should the inquiry produce a damning verdict against Mr Johnson.

In the worst-case scenario for the Prime Minister, the committee could find him in contempt of Parliament, triggering a possible suspension of the House or even a recall ballot at Uxbridge.

The current 1922 Committee of Conservative backbench MPs rules mean the Prime Minister is shielded from another vote of confidence for 12 months, after narrowly winning a ballot of Tory MPs earlier this month .

But Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said he would stand in the 1922 Committee election on the grounds that the rules could be changed to allow for a new vote of confidence.

Fellow backbencher Steve Baker also said he would run for a place on the committee and suggested he also wanted the rule on a 12-month grace period changed.

We shouldn’t change the rules and vote lightly again. However, there are foreseeable circumstances in which 1922 may have to act, Mr Baker said earlier this week.

Savanta surveyed 2,217 adults in Britain on June 25-26.

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2/ https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/boris-johnson-early-general-election-b2112198.html

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