Triple Polls Boost for Bri­tish PM John­son as Po­lit­i­cal Scraps Con­tinue Over Brexit

The boost for John­son also came as politi­cians pre­pared for an­other showdown in the House of Com­mons Mon­day when a sec­ond at­tempt is to be made to call a snap gen­eral elec­tion.

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Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son was given a boost on Sun­day when three separate opin­ion polls gave his Con­ser­va­tive Party a lead over ri­vals.

It came as a war of words con­tin­ued fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of one of John­son’s key front bench min­is­ters, Work and Pen­sions Sec­re­tary Am­ber Rudd.

The boost for John­son also came as politi­cians pre­pared for an­other showdown in the House of Com­mons yes­ter­day when a sec­ond at­tempt is to be made to call a snap gen­eral elec­tion. The main op­po­si­tion Labour Party have joined forces with the mi­nor­ity Lib­eral Democrats, Scot­tish Na­tion­al­ist Party (SNP), Plaid Cymru and the Green Party.

Their collective vote means John­son won’t win the two thirds ma­jor­ity to trig­ger an elec­tion in mid-Oc­to­ber ahead of the Oc­to­ber 17 cru­cial meet­ing in Brus­sels of the Euro­pean Coun­cil.

Queen’s As­sent

Queen El­iz­a­beth II is sched­uled to give Royal As­sent yes­ter­day to the op­po­si­tion par­ties’ leg­is­la­tion aimed at pre­vent­ing John­son from tak­ing Britain out of the Euro­pean Union on Oc­to­ber 31 un­less there is a deal agreed with the EU. The new law means John­son will face hav­ing to ask EU mem­bers to grant an ex­ten­sion to the de­par­ture date un­til the end of next Jan­uary. The polls boost for John­son came de­spite suf­fer­ing ma­jor de­feats in the House of Com­mons in the past few days. He had also faced crit­i­cism for fir­ing 21 MPs, in­clud­ing a num­ber of se­nior party veter­ans, from the Con­ser­va­tive benches for sid­ing with the op­po­si­tion in the votes.

Lead in polls

The Sun­day Tele­graph re­ported that two polls pub­lished on Satur­day evening give the Con­ser­va­tives a com­mand­ing lead over Jeremy Cor­byn’s Labour Party.

The news­pa­per said it sug­gested John­son’s hard­line stance on Brexit is cutting through to vot­ers.

The Con­ser­va­tives are up three points to 35 per cent in the lat­est Opinium poll, with Labour trail­ing in sec­ond place on 25 per cent. The mi­nor­ity Lib­eral Democrats are on 17 per cent. The Tele­graph said that while John­son’s own ap­proval rat­ings have fallen slightly, from 41 per cent to 36 per cent, he still en­joys a dom­i­nant lead over Cor­byn, with just 16 per cent of re­spon­dents con­sid­er­ing the Labour leader to be a bet­ter can­di­date for prime min­is­ter. The lat­est sur­vey also ap­peared to show that a plu­ral­ity of vot­ers sup­port John­son’s Brexit strat­egy, with 37 per cent stat­ing that they ap­proved of his han­dling of the Brexit process, while only 17 per cent backed Cor­byn’s ap­proach.

A poll by YouGov for the Sun­day Times sug­gested John­son’s lead over Cor­byn is even more com­mand­ing, with the Con­ser­va­tives now 14 points ahead of Labour.

An­other sur­vey by Deltapoll sug­gested the gap has nar­rowed, with the Con­ser­va­tives fall­ing four points to 31 per cent.

The Tele­graph com­mented that the findings of the most re­cent polls ap­pear to fly in the face of events in Par­lia­ment last week, when John­son failed to stop Re­mainer MPs from leg­is­lat­ing to de­lay Brexit or se­cure the elec­tion he be­lieves is re­quired to break the dead­lock.

The polls also ap­peared to in­di­cate the sack­ing of the 21 Con­ser­va­tives, in­clud­ing for­mer Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond, ex-min­is­ters David Gauke and Rory Ste­wart, and vet­eran politi­cian Ken­neth Clarke, have had a less notable im­pact on vot­ers than had been ex­pected.

In­ter­view with Am­ber Rudd

The Sun­day Times pub­lished an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with Rudd in which she said she had quit over John­son’s ap­proach to Brexit.

Re­spond­ing to Rudd’s scathing res­ig­na­tion let­ter, a se­nior gov­ern­ment source told The Sun­day Tele­graph: “As the polls show, the public do not back at­tempts by some MPs to cancel the ref­er­en­dum.”

Down­ing Street said the En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Therese Cof­fey is to re­place Rudd as Work and Pen­sions Sec­re­tary. Com­ment­ing on Rudd’s res­ig­na­tion as a se­nior min­is­ter as well as quitting the Con­ser­va­tive Party, Labour’s Shadow Brexit Sec­re­tary Keir Starmer said “John­son’s gov­ern­ment is fall­ing apart. He’s be­ing to­tally found out.”

He said on the party’s web­site: “This is further proof that the gov­ern­ment has no in­ten­tion of se­cur­ing a Brexit deal.

“Boris John­son is pur­su­ing a no deal Brexit strat­egy that would be dis­as­trous for jobs and our econ­omy, and put our public ser­vices at risk.

“We need to take no deal off the ta­ble, then we need a Gen­eral Elec­tion to elect a Labour gov­ern­ment that will repair the dam­age af­ter nine years of Tory (Con­ser­va­tive) chaos.”

In an in­ter­view on Sun­day on Sky News’ po­lit­i­cal pro­gramme, For­eign Sec­re­tary Do­minic Raab said Bri­tish vot­ers re­alised the Prime Min­is­ter is “try­ing to get us out of a rut”. Xin­hua

Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter Boris John­son.

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