Archive for the 'Boris' Category


Boris gets his own back on Theresa

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Paul Waugh writes on HuffPost about tonight’s reception at Lancaster House,

“In front of hundreds of diplomats from around the globe, he made a typically maverick speech hailing Brexit, while teased the PM on everything from foreign student numbers to Nigel Farage’s links with the US and even Heathrow’s third runway.

But after days of “trousergate” controversy – sparked by former minister Nicky Morgan’s criticism of the cost of May’s leather pants – Johnson couldn’t resist the biggest target…

“We are so cosmopolitan that we drink more champagne, more prosecco, buy more German cars than anyone else,” he declared.

“And our wonderful Prime Minister actually wears lederhosen!”

Quite where this is all going will be one of the fun stories of 2017.

Mike Smithson


Betting on will Boris Johnson still be Foreign Secretary of the 1st of January 2018

Sunday, December 11th, 2016


Boris Johnson’s desire to be Prime Minister is why he will stay & try to make a success of being Foreign Secretary while Mrs May cannot sack him without causing problems for herself.

William Hill have a market up on whether Boris Johnson will still be Foreign Secretary on the 1st of January 2018.

I think despite the events of the summer when Michael Gove’s transformation into the lovechild of Frank Underwood and Niccolò Machiavelli fatally damaged Boris Johnson’s chances of suceeding David Cameron, Boris still wants to be Prime Minister. He knows he needs to show he can be and is a successful Foreign Secretary rather than be perceived as neither a flouncer nor the court jester if his dreams are to be realised.

Though it speaks much about Mrs May’s people skills that in the past few weeks we’ve seen talk of her Chancellor quitting (and his odds as first out of the cabinet tumble from 25/1 to 8/1) and now there’s a betting market on her Foreign Secretary not lasting the whole of 2017.

To lose her two senior ministers so early in her premiership would be a harbinger of a forthcoming leadership challenge to Mrs May. As someone wryly observed to me a few weeks ago Theresa May is Mrs Thatcher without the warmth, people skills, or election winning nous, can you imagine Mrs Thatcher and her staff banning a fellow Tory MP from a dinner after said MP commented on the PM’s choice in clothes? Mrs May and her staff are displaying all the character flaws of this country’s last mandateless Prime Minister.

Given the recent comments made by Boris about Iran and Saudi Arabia and subsequent contretemps which have spilled out into several of today’s papers with Iain Duncan Smith being touted as a replacement for Boris as Foreign Secretary (Yes IDS as Foreign Secretary!), I can see why people might want to back the 6/4 but all told I’m taking the 1/2 on Boris still being Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs on the 1st of January 2018.

With Theresa May’s Commons majority reducing in the past month and the looming Brexit negotiations she needs Boris as much as Boris needs her, were she to lose the front man of the Leave campaign then doubts about her commitment to the full fat Brexit that many Tory leavers want will emerge. Both Boris and Mrs May have to make it work for both their careers.



Boris can’t go on being overruled by Number 10 and remain as Foreign Secretary

Thursday, December 8th, 2016

If it wasn’t for Labour TMay’s government would look shambolic

Ex BBC Political Editor, Nick Robinson, hits the nail on the head with his Tweet this afternoon after another instance of the Foreign Secretary making a statement only for it to be countermanded by Number 10 shortly afterwards.

This latest one was about Saudi Arabia creating an ambivalent view which cannot, surely, be helping relations with the country.

Over a period when members of a government don’t speak as one an impression of incompetence starts to develop which is not good for any party reliant on people’s votes.

I’ve no idea who is at fault here – Mr. Johnson or his boss, Mrs. May. The former has a reputation for making striking statements while the latter is known, fairly or unfairly for her control-freakery. The impression from these ongoing incidents is that the semior members of the government don’t converse as much as you would expect them to.

At some stage Boris has got to find a way of working with the PM or he’ll have to go. Maybe the 6/1 that Ladbrokes is offering as him being the net cabinet exit is a good bet.

Ladbrokes Next Cabinet Exit betting


Mike Smithson


New entrant Ed Balls moves immediately to 3rd place in latest YouGov favourability ratings

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Both Theresa May & Corbyn see drops

Here they are – the latest YouGov favourability ratings, the polling where the site has chosen who/what should be included.

The first time we did this was in August and since then all the UK politicians have seen net drops. Ed Balls, included after his Strictly successes, was not part of the August list.

In the summer TMay was still enjoying her honeymoon and had a net +12%. That’s now down to +5% with 46% favourable to 41% unfavourable. Boris has seen a decline from -5% in August to -13% now (38-51). Meanwhile, just on his heels, comes Strictly star Ed Balls with 32-47%. So he’s in negative territory but nothing like as bad as Mr. Corbyn who has 26-51 representing a net move since last time of minus 10.

Tony Blair might be thinking of some sort of UK come-back but his ratings, 14-74 are awful and he is only just ahead of Putin and Trump.

Donald Trump gets the best numbers from GE2015 UKIP voters who split 45% to 49%. They also have the most favourable view of Mr. Putin.

Mike Smithson


Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his country for his career.

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Boris wrote that Brexit could lead to economic shock, Scottish Independence, and Russian aggression 2 days before he backed Brexit.

For the last few years I generally kept on advocating that Boris should be laid for the Tory leadership, that advice isn’t going to change for the next Tory leadership contest. It will be very easy to portray Boris as someone who puts his own ambitions ahead of the best interests of the country, that is something that should fatally damage his chances of ever leading his party or country.



After being a polling phenomenon Boris Johnson joins the negative ratings club

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Boris Johnson announces he will back Brexit campaign   YouTube

Being a cabinet minister means he’s much less in the limelight

One of the PB YouGov Favourability Ratings that hasn’t attracted much attention is that for the former longstanding favourite to succeed Cameron, the ex-Mayor and current Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson.

He recorded a net minus 5 which wasn’t so bad compared with the other politicians in the list but significantly means he’s now in negative territory. Only his boss of UK politicians in the list, Theresa May,is viewed more favourably than negatively.

How very different to most of the past decade or so. Johnson was unique and appeared to have an appeal that went well beyond his party and almost whenever ratings questions were asked he came out top. Whether it was asked who’d make the best PM, whether people were satisfied, approved or doing his job well he was right up there with the best ratings of all. And he was just about always in positive territory.

Quite simply different rules appeared to apply to Boris partly because he was such a media magnet.

Looking back the most decisive moment for him was his February decision to back leave rather than remain in the referendum. That appeared to provide the vehicle for promotion to PM as well as giving him an even higher profile than he’d had. When on June 24th Cameron resigned all seemed set.

But then we got into the dramatic Tory leadership campaign when on that Thursday he pulled out of the race.

The PB YouGov Favourability Rating shows that amongst those who’d voted REMAIN he had a minus 63% rating which wasn’t offset by the 44% positive from LEAVE voters.

He’s now got a significant role in BREXIT but with far fewer opportunities to grab the headlines any more.

There are many who think that the PM has played a blinder in her dealings with Boris.

Mike Smithson


Betting on when Boris Johnson’s tenure as Foreign Secretary will end

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

BJ Special

Boris still wants to be PM, so he’ll try and make a success of his current role.

Ladbrokes have a market up on when Boris Johnson’s tenure as Foreign Secretary will end.

Like many I suspect Boris thought his ambition to be Prime Minister was over after Michael Gove’s transformation into Frank Underwood, but Gove is now looking more like Frank Spencer than Frank Underwood whilst Boris is now Foreign Secretary.

Whilst I know there has been some incredulity from other countries about the appointment, and the previous indiscretions of Boris, but the sexploits of the former Mayor of London in this era won’t be much of an issue, and Robert Boothby, an Old Etonian Tory politician from another era, would find the shenanigans of Boris all very tame.

No party, nor any side in a referendum has ever received more votes than the 17 million Leave received last month, and a lot of credit should go to Boris Johnson for that and he survived the white heat of the scrutiny of that campaign, he should be able to survive the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that come with occupying one of the great of offices of state. He knuckled down whilst he was Mayor of London, so he does have for form for trying to be a serious politician as a stepping stone to becoming Prime Minister.

I would like to back the 2020 or later option but I can think of other 6/4 bets that will pay out well before 2020, so this is a no bet for me but others may well disagree with my assessment.



Theresa May 7% ahead of Johnson amongst CON voters in first leadership race poll

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Meanwhile with LAB the Mirror speaks out