Boris Johnson’s position
When Boris Johnson became the prime minister of the United Kingdom in 2019, he promised to deliver Brexit to unite the country and level up the opportunities for everyone. He also faced
daunting challenges including a divided parliament, a pandemic and economic uncertainties.
Despite of being many controversies, criticisms and setbacks, Boris Johnson managed to secure a Brexit deal and warn a general election. He also managed to launch a vaccination campaign
and stimulate some investment as well.
However, his reputation has been tarnished by scandals, mishandling and policy failure such as Dominic Cummings affairs, the free school meal fiasco and the Afghan crises .many people have doubted whether Boris Johnson could survive politically or not. Yet as the United Kingdom enters a new phase of recovery Johnson’s political fortunes seem to be shifting and a Boris comeback is starting to look inevitable.
The first reason why a Boris comeback is likely is that the opposition parties are weak and
divided. The labour party which governed the United Kingdom for most of the 20th century has
been struggling to find a clear and popular message under its current leader named Keir Starmer who is a former lawyer and human rights activist who has tried to modernize and unified the party by appealing to both traditional working-class voters and literal urbanites.
However, he has failed to challenge Johnson’s leadership and vision effectively partly due to the pandemic restriction that has limited his public appearances and rallies. Moreover, Starmer’s perceived lack of charisma and authenticity has led to some infighting and disillusionment among the party members and supporters as a result the labour party has been trailing behind the conservatives in most poles and by-elections even in some of its traditional strongholds.
The second reason why a Boris comeback is feasible is that the conservative party has gained
some momentum and support in recent months. Despite the controversies and scandals that
plagued Johnson’s government, some voters seem to appreciate his style and substance as a bold, optimistic and patriotic leader who represents their values and interests. According to some surveys Johnson’s personal approval ratings have improved since the beginning of the year, especially among older and less-educated voters who tend to be more sceptical of the media and the elites.
In addition, the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly the vaccination rollout has received widespread praise and gratitude from many people who have suffered from the disease, the lockdowns and the economic downturn. The success of the vaccination campaign has also allowed the government to ease some restrictions and boost some sectors such as tourism, hospitality and entertainment which have suffered the most during the pandemic.
Furthermore, the government has pledged to invest heavily in infrastructure, education and healthcare as well as to create more jobs and apprenticeships, especially in the so-called red wall constituencies that voted for Brexit and the conservatives in 2019. These promises if fulfilled could help the government win over some of the voters who have felt left behind or betrayed by previous governments.
The third important reason why Boris Johnson’s comeback is probable is that the international context is becoming more favourable for the UK with the departure from the European Union and the resolution of some trade and security disputes the UK has more flexibility and autonomy to pursue its own interests and partnerships. The UK has also strengthened its relationship with the United States, particularly under the new Biden administration which has welcomed the UK’s leadership on climate change, defence and democracy.
The UK has also deepened its ties with other key allies such as Japan, India and Australia even through the formation of quadrilateral security dialogue, which aims to promote a free and open indo-pacific region. These developments have enhanced the UK’s global profile and influence, and have demonstrated Johnson’s diplomatic skills and ambitions.