As Johnson steps in to back the ‘out’ vote, anything is possible
Behind the mad hair , the baffling speeches and the madness of Boris Johnson , is a clever political man — a man with one aim: to become prime minster.
In my view whether Boris is using this EU campaign or not to further political ambitions, it doesn’t matter as his political plan to power is already in action.
Advocating for the ‘out’ side has distanced him from his old university friend. He now has the support of many Tory backbench MPs (128 so far in favour of leaving ), a force that’s going to be decisive in a predictably tight leadership election. It may seem premature to talk about a leadership election which is at least three years away. However, your decision on June 23rd even though the ballot paper won’t have the name of any Tory MP, carries the possibility of changing the Conservative Party
If the country votes profoundly in favour of leaving, many will see that as support for Boris Johnson and a defeat for Cameron. Though the latter has promised to resign in 2019, should Britain exit the EU, he won’t be seen to have a mandate to lead a party that has opposed him and a country that didn’t back him. Is this what Boris Johnson is aiming for? This would be the best possible outcome for Boris since it won’t just be Cameron who will lose his mandate, but other leadership candidates too who backed him in remaining in the EU
; notably, George Osborne and Theresa May.
It’s quite ironic that a promise for an EU referendum which got Cameron elected could also bring him and his government to their downfall. Step in Mr Johnson, a man from the inside, to take his place.
But what happens if Britain votes to stay?
Boris has been secured a cabinet role, although I imagine not as high as he would have had if he supported Cameron. In this case he has been unaffected. Boris isn’t a politician aiming for the title of Secretary of Defence or Foreign Minster. He already has experience in his portfolio from his time spent as Mayor of London. His chances in the leadership election will be unaffected as he will retain the support of MPs, and in a general election he will be seen as a man of principal who stood up for Britain alongside the electorate.
Boris is a clever man, and one we need to begin taking seriously. He will attract ordinary voters to the leave campaign and possibly also to the Tory Party — his personality being his number one policy.
Boris being PM in 2016 is possible, Boris being PM in 2020 is very likely.