Johnson will not stumble until Starmer tackles him on Brexit

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Our Houdini PM looks poised to win a byelection in a Labour stronghold, even as his signature policy creates crisis after crisis

The recrudescence of corruption and sleaze in a Conservative government ought, traditionally, to be a sign of electoral problems ahead. This was the case in the dying days of the 13 years of Tory rule from 1951 to 1964, and towards the tail end of the Thatcher-Major governments of 1979-97 – 18 years!

And here we are, with a Conservative government that has been in office – with temporary help from the Liberal Democrats – for almost 11 years since 2010, steeped in accusations of sleaze and corrupt contracts; yet there is a widespread assumption that they will win the byelection in Hartlepool – once a Labour stronghold. Moreover, there is even speculation that if they do well in the local elections, prime minister Boris Johnson could spring a snap election on the back of such results and his supposed success with the vaccination programme, to say nothing of a “consumer boom” as the economy is released from the clampdown induced by the onset of the Plague.

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