Decisive UK election: Boris Johnson's job in jeopardy

Para analistas e parlamentares conservadores, desempenho fraco dos Tories nas urnas em maio e novas punições pelo Partygate poderiam selar destino político do premiê britânico

For analysts and Conservative lawmakers, Tories’ poor performance at the polls in May and further punishments by Partygate could seal the British premier’s political fate| Photo: EFE/EPA/NEIL HALL

In January, before the start of the war in Ukraine, the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, faced the most difficult moment of his term, with public criticism and threats of dismissal by parliamentarians from his own party due to Partygate – as the scandal was dubbed in which UK authorities circumvented the lockdown rules during the pandemic and participated in events and parties.

Sanctions on Russia and the response to the invasion of Ukraine, launched by Moscow in 2022 of February, gave breath to the leader of the Tories, the British Conservative party, but the truce may be close to the end.

On May 5th, local elections will be held in the country (coinciding with the election of the Assembly of Ireland do Norte), in which the members will be chosen es of 32 unit, metropolitan and district councils in England, 32 advice in Scotland and 22 in Wales, as well as seven directly elected English mayors.

Political analysts and Conservative lawmakers believe that pressure to remove Johnson could increase if the Tories are shipwrecked in the ballots. A poll released this month found that the Conservatives are expected to lose approximately 720 seats and control of about 24 local councils in May.

Political analyst Robert Hayward, affiliated with Johnson’s party, warned in an interview with The Guardian that the The future of the prime minister could be decided by two issues: a poor performance by the Tories at the polls in May, which the legend would attribute to the erosion of the premier’s image, and new punishments by the Partygate.

Johnson was already fined in early April for attending a birthday party in Downing Street, official residence of the British prime minister, in June 2020. The Metropolitan Police is investigating events in which government officials allegedly disrespected the lockdown, and at least six had Johnson’s participation.

“These two points can trigger the whole process that took place in January again,” said Hayward. After the announcement of the first fine imposed on the prime minister, the Metropolitan Police said that no further punishments regarding Partygate will be issued until the local elections in May, but investigations continue.

A Conservative MP, however, told the Sunday Express that the British voter has other concerns besides disregarding the lockdown during the pandemic. . “There are issues about the cost of living in particular that the government is not addressing and if the local elections go bad , we will see the letters arrive again”, he stated, on condition of anonymity.

The reference is the requirement that at least 54 Conservative lawmakers send a letter asking for a vote of no confidence against Johnson, which could remove him from the leadership of the party and, consequently, from the position of prime minister, which he has held since 2019.

) However, another Conservative MP, in favor of Johnson’s departure, also told the Sunday Express that he believes that any possibility of removing the prime minister “is over”, even if the election results in May are bad and that the premier receives other punishments. by Partygate.

“Ukraine has put everything in perspective. We have seen in Russia what a real dictator looks like, and in the midst of a war Partygate seems much less important,” he argued. Only after May 5 will there be an answer to this question.

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