“Meanwhile, the Conservative poll rating is at under a quarter of the vote,” this site reported on June 26. Theresa May was still Tory leader. The Commons had rejected her deal three times. Brexit had twice been postponed. The Party had been reduced to four seats during the European Parliamentary elections. The Brexit Party was eating into the Conservative vote.
The Tories edged back in front four days later, according to Politico’s poll of polls. The Party’s leadership election was taking place and Boris Johnson was set to win. By the time he was declared the victor, on July 24, the Conservatives had a four point lead.
Over 50 opinion polls have been chronicled by Britain Elects since then, and the last national one to find a Labour lead was recorded on July 28. On June 26, we found that the Brexit Party was second on 22 per cent. It is currently on eleven per cent.
The Prime Minister’s Commons defeats, the row over prorogation, the expulsion of the 21, Amber Rudd and Rory Stewart’s departures, the Supreme Court judgement, the new Brexit deal, the Withdrawal Agreement Bill clearing Second Reading last week, the Queen’s Speech passing, the vanishing October 31 deadline for leaving – all should be seen against this rolling story of Johnson’s opinion polling success and Jeremy Corbyn’s parallel t failure.
The long and short of it is that voters believe that the Prime Minister is trying to deliver Brexit. Hence the stoppage of the flow of blue support to the Brexit Party, and the gradual return of much of it to the Conservatives. Punch the latest headline figures into Electoral Calculus’s calculator and one gets a Tory majority of 84.
That’s a crude estimate and much may change. But the big takeaway point is that Johnson’s prospects seem to be linked to whether people think he is working to get the UK out of the EU. Whether or not he is succeeding at any particular time appears to be a secondary issue.
So if he can’t get the election he clearly wants – and why wouldn’t he try for one, given ratings like these? – the polling suggests that the best course he could take would be to bring back the Withdrawal Bill. There are arguments for and against doing so, which we looked at recently on this site. But if the Prime Minister can’t gain an election, and if striving to deliver Brexit is the secret of his success to date, it follows that he should continue to do so.