Tories are targeting 50 marginals seats in an upcoming election as Boris Johnson predicts a ‘functional majority’
- He told ministers on Thursday that Tories are on course for election victory
- Message came as Jeremy Corbyn signalled he would agree to election this year
- Mr Johnson’s strategy is to target 50 marginal seats and defend another 50
Boris Johnson told his ministers yesterday that the Tories are on course for election victory.
His message came as Jeremy Corbyn finally signalled that he would agree to go to the polls this year.
The Prime Minister told his Cabinet that the strategy is to target 50 marginal seats and defend another 50, aiming for a ‘functional majority’ in the House of Commons.
Boris Johnson told his ministers yesterday that the Tories are on course for election victory
He said the slogan for next week’s Conservative conference will be: Get Brexit done.
Mr Johnson warned hardline Brexiteers – known as the Spartans – who have refused to vote for a deal that they would not get everything they want, saying: ‘Even the Spartans are going to have to compromise.’
Internal polling shows that the Prime Minister is ‘miles ahead on leadership and the numbers are moving in the right direction’, ministers were told, while Tory sources said this month had been the best ever for fundraising.
One Cabinet minister said: ‘Labour must have the same numbers which is why they’re running scared from election.’
Mr Corbyn has committed to whip Labour MPs to vote for a general election once a Brexit extension is secured from the EU.
He also pledged further parliamentary action to ensure Mr Johnson requests a delay to Brexit, as demanded by the ‘Benn Act’ passed by opposition parties and rebel former Tory MPs.
His message came as Jeremy Corbyn finally signalled that he would agree to go to the polls this year
In an interview, Mr Corbyn said: ‘It’s not a matter of choice for him, it’s an Act of Parliament that was passed.’
Pressed on whether he would whip his MPs to vote for an election the moment a Brexit extension is agreed, the Labour leader said: ‘Absolutely.’
Asked if this would mean an election this year, Mr Corbyn agreed that it would.
Many Labour MPs, including deputy leader Tom Watson, have called for a second Brexit referendum to be held before any election.
Last night, former prime minister Sir John Major warned that the election will be bitter and wounding.
In a speech to the Centre for European Reform, he said: ‘In the present atmosphere it would be likely to become the most unsavoury election of modern times. All parties profess to believe an election is necessary to clear the air.
Last night, former prime minister Sir John Major warned that the election will be bitter and wounding
‘I disagree. Until Brexit is resolved, a general election would solve nothing. It would merely fuel the current feeling of disillusionment and disunity.
‘Far from healing the nation, it would scratch away at open wounds.
‘It may also be pointless, as the most likely outcome is another fragmented Parliament, even more bitterly divided than it is now.’