Coffee House

Boris and ballots: what might happen to the Tory party in 2015

14 February 2014

10:42 AM

14 February 2014

10:42 AM

What are Boris Johnson’s real chances of becoming Tory leader? I examine the Mayor of London’s standing with Conservative MPs in my Telegraph column today – and it is fascinating how polarised opinion is about the Mayor in the Tory party. His supporters insist he is the only hope for the Conservative party, while those who don’t want him to lead really, really don’t want him to lead and display a fair bit of personal hatred when talking about the Mayor. But the problem that those in the anti-Boris camp have is that they can’t see who else from the current group of well-known leadership hopefuls would enjoy the same sort of cut-through.

As for when he might come in, my sources among those who are actively promoting Boris in the Commons are adamant that this is about ‘post-Dave’. But when does ‘post-Dave’ happen? Here is one intriguing possibility that has been suggested to me.


David Cameron has told Graham Brady, the 1922 Committee chairman, that Conservative MPs will be able to vote on another Coalition. But what hasn’t been promised at any time has been a secret ballot. Read back through ConHome’s interview with Brady, and you’ll see that he refuses to go into details about the ‘protocol’ for the consent that backbenchers will be able to give. I understand that this is because the Prime Minister has so far refused to offer MPs a secret ballot.

But Tory MPs say they won’t weather this if faced with another Con-Lib deal in 2015, and will vote in the 1922 Committee (via secret ballot) to force the Prime Minister to let them approve a new Coalition via secret ballot. One says:

‘If Dave thinks he’s going to pull that off again, he’ll see that he can’t mess with us. We’ll force him to hold a secret ballot and there are ministers, especially those from the 2010 intake who will vote in a secret ballot against a coalition and insist on minority government with another general election in 12-18 months’ time.’

That ministers would vote against coalition in a secret ballot is something James revealed in his politics column recently. At the same time as this vote, plotters would almost certainly send in enough letters to Brady to trigger a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister. So even if MPs did approve a new Coalition, they might insist on a new leader.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.

Show comments
  • Whizjet

    DC and BJ are all about presentation – in many ways just like Bliar.
    It’s not entirely their fault, our current instant media demand new soundbites on an hourly basis.
    Personally, I’d enlist John Redwood.

  • saffrin

    Judging by the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election, call me Dave is about to become the new Clegg.
    Leader of the third party in British politics.

  • Roy

    Boris is similar to others of his intellectual ilk. They despise the old English who should have inherited this country. They take it upon themselves to stand and shout their vitriol in support of the replacement hordes. Not that they love them dearly but to enable them (the newcomer) to fully support his political scheme of thing. He will caress with his antenna like an ant welcoming another to its nest. Somehow afraid to dispel their claim even though they resemble an intuitive inbuilt insight to know and feel positively sure they are not one of ours. An ant on the other hand would know instinctively what an enemy of the nest is, and deal with it.

  • poppy2009

    The election is not till next may and instead of letting Cameron get on with
    running the country, talk of replacing him with Boris who I cannot see as a
    future PM for the Conservative party. The vote for a referendum to be held
    in 2017 failed due to the Labour and the Lib Dems ganging up together,
    so you cannot say Cameron has not tried. Hopefully it can be introduced
    again by the Parliament Act of 1949 or another way before the next
    election which Cameron is pressing for.

  • Mynydd

    Couple of questions for after the 2015 general election, who will form the official opposition, UKIP or the rump of the Conservative party?, or will there be the first opposition Coalition?

  • the viceroy’s gin

    Well, I guess this is a memorable date, as the subject of Call Me Dave’s removal is finally broached in Speccieville. It’s well and truly over for the Cameroons, as that by election yesterday showed. All the detoxification imaginable hasn’t done any good for them, in fact it’s hurt them as we see. All the husky hugging global warmingism hasn’t done anything but drive voters off the Cameroons. All the ringfenced socialism, all the homosexual marriages, all the EUSSR love, all the glorious trappings of a de-nastified party have done… less than nothing. What these dolts thought would help them has actually hurt them. We know this. The data tells us so. No marketeering drone can overcome that reality.

    It’s over for the Cameroons Over. All know it now.

    And of course, Speccieville’s pet, the albino poshboy, is finally mentioned as Dave’s replacement. I’m shocked. Shocked, I tell you. They know it’s over, does Speccieville, and they know it’s time to get to work for Dave’s socialist clone.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      Indeed comrade.
      “Vote Blue Go Green” — vote blue, swim in p**, more like.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …still impenetrable gibberish, lad. Still suggest you switch to the Cyrillic.

  • Swiss Bob

    Boris is just as much a wet as Cameron so no doubt the remaining membership will vote for him, not that there are many members left.

    Who thinks Turkey joining the EU would be good for Britain except for a Common Purpose drone who wants to be an EU regional Gauleiter/Commissar?

  • sarahsmith232

    seeing that I went and used a mildly offensive word my comment has been deleted, so i’ll just say it quickly this time – Dominic Raab for PM

    • BuBBleBus

      Sarah_ this Spectator site is so censored that they’ve blocked all my comments from my home IP address . . . so much for free speech from the Speccie hypocrites.

      • sarahsmith232

        exactly right. Just had the most inoffensive of statements deleted. All I wrote was the sentence ‘turn the takers into taxpayers and watch as Labour’s popularity disappears in a puff of smoke’. Not a sniff of a swear word in sight, yet was deleted. ridiculous, more like the Guardian

  • BuBBleBus

    I’m one of those who hates Boris, as strongly as to say that he’d be worse than Bliar as Prime Minister. I have personal experience of his treachery.

  • kyalami

    The sooner the better.