The Prime Minister looks tired. His own MPs are starting to loathe him and his shine with the public is wearing off. Labour is closing the gap in the polls, relations between No 10 and No 11 are deteriorating and no-confidence letters are starting to trickle into the 1922 committee.
It’s been a tough few weeks of self-inflicted political pain for Boris Johnson. His badly misjudged handling of the Owen Patterson scandal was the trigger; marching his MPs to the top of the hill only to leave them exposed in the harsh cold of an inevitable and screeching u-turn. The wheels on the shopping trolley are well and truly stuck.
While there’s no prospect of an immediate challenge to Boris Johnson’s leadership (54 of his MPs would need to trigger a leadership ballot), the stage for one certainly seems to be getting a good setting.
Broken promises on rail infrastructure in the north, the highest tax burden in peacetime and regressive social care plans — even Tory MPs are getting shifty over the latest offerings of the Johnson administration. Reports today that red wall Tory MPs are plotting to coronate Liz Truss as their next leader will do little to settle nerves in No 10.
There are two factors to consider when thinking about Boris Johnson’s prospects over the next 12 months: is he still popular with the public, and is he still popular with his own party? On both counts, Johnson’s ratings are going down. Whether he can stop the bleeding of support turning into a full blown haemorrhage remains to be seen.
Ryan works in politics and is a contributor to PoliReview.