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Will Boris survive a revolt on the right? By Professor Matt Goodwin for Unherd

As the New Year dawns, Professor Matt Goodwin assesses the political prospects for Boris Johnson as momentum gathers in the run up to the local elections in May.

Things are not looking good for the Prime Minister to put it mildly, made worse by the return of a familiar thorn in the side of his party:

“Disillusioned with Boris Johnson’s premiership and what he sees as the Government’s failure to make the most out of Brexit, Nigel Farage has made clear his intention to get more involved with Reform, the party which replaced the Brexit Party.”

It’s agenda?

“… to exploit the rapidly growing rift between Boris Johnson and his conservative voters who are today just as likely to come from the Labour heartlands as the Tory shires. Many of the voters on whom Boris Johnson depends are more blue-collar, non-graduate and culturally conservative than those who supported David Cameron just a few years ago. They are more purple than blue, more Faragist than Cameroon.”

Disillusion over the terms of the post-Brexit settlement is only part of it: thumping tax rises and soaring energy bills, on-going illegal immigration and the hijacking of education, the promotion of woke and suppression of free speech, the ransacking of statues and a general perception that

under Boris Johnson the country is now ruled by “a metropolitan Tory chumocracy totally detached from the rest of the country” have all contributed to the sense of anger and disillusionment amongst millions who put their trust in the Prime Minister by voting for him and his government for the first time in 2019.

As the government totters, others stand by, ready to swoop:

“Scroll through Reform’s policies and you’ll find an offer tailored for the very people who are now abandoning Johnson in the polls. A call to return to low taxes. To push back against ‘woke nonsense’. To reform the BBC. And to restore freedom of speech."

As the Conservative coalition continues to disintegrate, the reasons behind it are painfully obvious:

“Johnson has simply failed to sell his core policies to his core voters.

And if the drift continues, these voters will change their allegiance once again:

“We simply now live in a country where voters have become far more used to switching their political loyalties from one election to the next, where the Conservative Party’s leadership is no longer aligned with its new electorate, where the vote for Brexit has shown voters the kind of change they can bring about and where culture remains just as important as economics. It might be tempting to argue that the revolt on the Right is over — but only a fool would believe it.

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article for Unherd by Professor Matt Goodwin - Will Boris survive a revolt on the Right 11
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