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The more that Remain MPs try to obstruct Brexit, the stronger Boris Johnson will become – and the more likely it is that he will command a big Conservative majority at the next General Election.

For the British people have responded far more positively to the Johnson premiership than many commentators and others in Westminster would have you think...

MATTHEW GOODWIN: Boris Johnson is heading for election victory thanks to his support from the REAL Britain (despite people hating him on Twitter)


By Matthew Goodwin For The Mail On Sunday
20 October 2019

The more that Remain MPs try to obstruct Brexit, the stronger Boris Johnson will become – and the more likely it is that he will command a big Conservative majority at the next General Election.

For, believe me, the British people have responded far more positively to the Johnson premiership than many commentators and others in Westminster would have you think.

To grasp how much has changed, we need to briefly revisit the dark, final days of Theresa May’s disastrous premiership.


Boris Johnson takes a selfie with shipyard workers during a visit to the Isle of Wight on June 27


Three months ago, as the Maybot prepared to depart Downing Street, her legacy was visible to all. Brexit was nowhere to be seen. The Conservative Party had been hollowed out. MPs were at war. Donors were furious. Nearly half of all people who had voted Conservative in 2017 had jumped ship to Nigel Farage and the Brexit Party.

The Conservative Party was like a skydiver who had jumped out of a plane with no parachute.

It was plummeting in the polls and had fallen to a derisory 24 per cent.

May had put one of the world’s oldest and most successful political parties on course for the worst vote in its entire electoral history.

And all of this had opened the door to Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party, which during May’s premiership had enjoyed regular leads in the polls, introducing the very real possibility of the most radical Left-wing government in Britain’s history.

Conservatives were not just fighting for Brexit. They were fighting for their very survival.

But now fast forward to where we are today.

Boris Johnson has been Prime Minister for less than 90 days but, forgetting the drama of yesterday, look at how different things are. The Conservative Party is coming off life support and is now heading towards a full recovery.

Few of his critics have bothered to notice, but the party’s position has radically improved.


Prime Minister Mr Johnson has a selfie with police at Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire on August 2

Just look at the numbers. The Conservatives averaged only 24 per cent in the final weeks of May but with Johnson at the helm it averaged 30 per cent in early August, 32 per cent in early September and is now on 34 per cent.

With Labour falling back, as Remainers jump ship to the anti-Brexit Liberal Democrats, Johnson has put his party on a secure course toward a majority.

In fact, in one poll this week, the Conservatives are up again to 37 per cent, leaving them 15 points clear of Labour. Corbyn is now nowhere to be seen. Of the 54 polls that we have had since Johnson took power, Labour has led in just one. While the twittering classes continue to criticise the Prime Minister, the British people have been quietly sharing their views about who they would most like to lead Britain.

The results are striking.

Each week or so, voters are asked: ‘Who would make the best Prime Minister?’ When May was in power, the people had completely tuned out. The most popular answer was ‘not sure’. Today, the public give Johnson a clear and commanding lead; 43 per cent say Johnson, while only 21 per cent say Corbyn.

But now look closer. The overwhelming majority of Leave supporters prefer Johnson and so too, crucially, do Brexit Party voters.

Seventy three per cent of Leavers and 84 per cent of Brexit Party voters say that Johnson would make the best prime minister.

This shows how, unlike May, Johnson is actually managing to unify the Leave vote, which used to be divided between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson poses for selfies during a walkabout in Birmingham on July 26

Back at the European elections in the spring, nearly 40 per cent of people who had voted Conservative in 2017 had become so fed up with the failure to deliver Brexit that they had defected over to Farage’s party. But, today, Johnson and his team have squeezed that figure down to just 11 per cent. This could make all the difference at the next General Election, given that the Remainers are currently fairly evenly divided between Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

Why are these voters flocking to Johnson? His determination to deliver Brexit is one piece of the puzzle, but it is not the only piece.

While May never really knew what she believed, in just three months Johnson has laid out an ambitious new agenda that is appealing to voters who back Brexit. These are people who play by the rules, yet feel that life in Britain is rigged against them. Johnson has promised not just to ‘Get Brexit Done’ but to help our creaking NHS, schools, police and, most important of all, the regions outside of London that have for too long been left behind.

Blue-collar Britain is tuning in and likes what it hears.

In the polls, the working classes now show stronger support for Johnson than Corbyn, a shift that will be crucial in Labour Leave seats in northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

You have to wonder about the health of the Labour Party when the very voters that it was set up to represent prefer the Conservative Party leader to Corbyn by a margin of 44 per cent to 17 per cent. Johnson is even ahead of Corbyn among the very groups that we are routinely told are fanatical Corbynistas and Johnson-haters. In the latest YouGov poll, women, 18 to 24-year-olds and Londoners all strongly prefer Johnson over Corbyn.

All of this points to the massive disconnect between the insular world of Twitter and much of the commentariat, and the world that is inhabited by ordinary voters.

Johnson is still routinely underestimated. The chattering classes said that he would never be able to revise May’s failed Withdrawal Agreement. But he did. Many said that Johnson would be unable to remove the backstop from the Withdrawal Agreement. But he did.

And many said that he would never be able to rally his own party around a revised deal. But he has done exactly that. If Johnson continues to enjoy these kinds of numbers in the polls, then his premiership will be transformed.

Remainers who yesterday cheered the passing of the Letwin Amendment, which requires yet another delay to Brexit, should look at the bigger picture.

The more they obstruct Johnson, the more likely it us that his premiership will be transformed from a brief footnote into a major chapter in Britain’s post-War political history.

MATTHEW GOODWIN is a professor of politics at the University of Kent

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/a...n-victory.html