Will Boris Johnson be able to survive in 2022 as Prime Minister?

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Boris Johnson begins 2022 as an “irrevocably weakened figure,” said The Observer. Just two years after winning a decisive parliamentary majority of 80, his poll scores are “drastically down” and his authority among Tory MPs has been severely “eroded” by a series of scandals and two landslide by-election defeats. preservatives.

The Prime Minister’s problems are piling up. He now faces a Cabinet Office investigation into the locked Downing Street parties and further inquiries into political donations. The next investigation into the management of Covid, too, will surely rake up many “errors in judgment”.

The outlook for the year is bleak, agreed Alain Tolhurst on Politics Home. The public faces a sharp rise in the cost of living this spring, with energy prices rising and national insurance payments rising 1.25%. And it is clear that Brexit is still not ‘over’: the feud over the Northern Ireland Protocol is dragging on and a slew of new EU customs checks could flatten some UK businesses. MEPs will follow the local elections on May 5 very closely. If they go wrong, the Conservatives could be looking for a new leader by the summer.

This is a government “adrift and appeased,” said The Guardian. Do you remember, for example, the “upgrade”? This was to be Johnson’s ‘flagship’ policy, designed to improve the prospects of voters in the North and Midlands. Yet the white paper was again delayed, until the end of January, and Michael Gove, the minister responsible, was reportedly informed by the Treasury that no new money was available. Instead, Gove will focus on devolving more political power to “neglected” regions. But without long-term investment, it will be impossible to correct entrenched inequalities; and “red wall” voters may find it hard to forgive.

The coalition of voters that propelled Johnson to Downing Street in 2019 is already “rapidly falling apart,” Matthew Goodwin said in The Spectator. “In the past six months alone, the Leavers’ share of Johnson has fallen by almost 20 points.” Winning them back will be “his first challenge in 2022”.

Don’t erase Johnson just yet, Andrew Neil told the Daily Mail. He is “seriously injured”, “but he is not yet toasted”. Britain faces a few bleak months, but there are “a brighter outlook ahead in the second half of 2022”. Goldman Sachs, the IMF and the World Bank all predict that the UK economy will experience the fastest growth among the developed G7 countries in 2022.

Johnson took a major bet by rejecting a draconian lockdown against the Omicron variant. If he is justified in this decision, he will reap the economic and political rewards. Yet the times will demand “a more focused and serious leader”; it is clear that the public is fed up with the clumsy old “Boris schtick”. Is Johnson capable of such a metamorphosis? “It’s entirely his business.”

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