Brexit: Ben Habib issues warning to Boris Johnson
Speaking to Brexit Unlocked hosts Martin Daubney and Belinda De Lucy, the former British MEP warned Boris Johnson will be in for a “shock” in 2024 when he claims British voters will have not forgotten about his Government’s mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic and any sell-out resulted from the Brexit process.
He said: “I don’t think the vaccine gets him off the Brexit hook.”
“I really hope the vaccine works because we’ve got to get out of this and we’ve got to get the United Kingdom moving forward again.
“But I don’t think, whatever happens with the pandemic now, that the way the north was treated during the pandemic, the economic damage already done, we will certainly not recover if we sign into an EU level playing field, and then the sell-out on Brexit, people won’t forget.
“People say a few days in politics be a very long time.
“Actually, I think people will remember this in 2024 and Boris is going to be in for a shock.”
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In the 12 months since the 2019 general election, Boris Johnson has seen his party’s poll lead drop from double-digits to level-pegging with Labour.
The Tories had opened up a large gap in the polls by the end of 2019, boosted by the personal appeal of Mr Johnson and a successful election campaign message of Get Brexit Done.
This carried over into the early part of 2020, where most weeks saw the party ahead of Labour by an average of at least 15 points, rising to a whopping 22-point average lead in the first weeks of the Covid-19 outbreak.
But then things started to change.
The polls began to narrow soon after Sir Keir Starmer replaced Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in early April, which coincided with the Government starting to face criticism for its handling of the pandemic.
The Tories’ lead dropped to single figures by June, was averaging below four points by September, and had disappeared completely by November.
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The latest polls show both the Conservatives and Labour in a statistical tie of around 37 percent to 39 percent.
No other prime minister in recent history has seen a poll lead fall so steeply over such a short period of time.
Throughout the 12 months following the 2017 general election, Theresa May’s Tories remained locked in a virtual dead heat with Labour, with both parties polling around 40 percent.
David Cameron’s Tories spent the year after the 2015 general election ahead in the polls, but saw their lead slide from a peak of 14 points to just two points.
And in the 12 months following the 2010 election, what started as an average Conservative lead of four points ended up as an average Labour lead of three points.
Mr Johnson’s approval ratings since the 2019 election do not make cheery reading for the Conservatives either.
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Figures from the polling company Opinium show that his net approval rating, those who approve of his performance minus those who disapprove, turned positive after the election and then soared in the early days of the Covid-19 lockdown.
At one point the Prime Minister was enjoying a net rating of 29 percent, compared with minus 36 percent for Jeremy Corbyn.
Mr Johnson’s numbers began to slide in May, however.
By June they had turned negative, and by November they had dropped as low as minus 14 percent.
Sir Keir, by contrast, has scored positive net approval ratings ever since becoming Labour leader.
Polls and ratings are only snapshots of public opinion, not forecasts or projections.
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