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One of his MPs has defected to the opposition; others are plotting to overthrow him; his former cabinet colleague has quoted Leo Amery quoting Oliver Cromwell at him, telling him “in the name of God, go”; while some of his current cabinet are soliciting votes in the campaign to succeed him. Boris Johnson’s hold on No 10 suddenly seems precarious.
The reversal of fortune has been breathtakingly sudden. Twice last year The Times carried front-page headlines declaring that Johnson “eyed a decade in power”, at the time of the Hartlepool by-election and the Conservative Party conference.
The Conservatives were ahead in the opinion polls and Labour supporters were in despair at Keir Starmer’s inability to make any kind of mark. Then came the stories of parties in Downing Street during lockdowns some time ago and the prime minister’s standing collapsed before our eyes.
Now he is fighting for his survival, with many Conservative MPs saying privately that the game is up. This doesn’t seem to make much sense: he won the biggest majority for the party for 32 years just two years ago. Only he could have broken the Brexit deadlock and got Britain out of the EU.
Yet it was often said that the Tory party turned to him in desperation after Theresa May’s failure – Tory MPs didn’t particularly like him or trust him, but they thought he was the only one who could save them.
That meant he had no band of natural supporters to fall back on when the vote-winning shine came off. We all knew that, and yet it was still shocking to discover quite how friendless he was when the opinion polls turned.
I don’t know what exactly is going to happen next and when, but I shall be here to answer your questions on Friday – I can at least tell you what the rules are and what has happened in similar situations in the past, even if nothing can quite match the strangeness of today’s politics.
Let me know why you think Johnson has found himself in this position, faced with the prospect of joining Gordon Brown and Theresa May as three-year, interim prime ministers. Let me know what you think should happen next. What would you do if you were a Conservative MP? What would you do if you were Keir Starmer?
If you have a question about what looks like the endgame for Boris Johnson, submit it now, or when I join you live at 1pm on Friday 21 January for an “Ask Me Anything” event.
To get involved all you have to do is register to submit your question in the comments below. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments box to leave your question.
Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they may be hidden until I join the conversation to answer them. Then join us live on this page at 1pm as I tackle as many questions as I can.