Boris Johnson faces mutiny within his party on Tuesday, as Parliament returns from recess with the promise of an uprising. At least 22 Tory rebels are planning to join forces with Labour to bring forward a bill designed to stop the UK leaving the EU on October 31 without a deal. If they succeed, the Prime Minister is likely to call a snap general election for October 14, as the Brexit deadlock shows no sign of shifting.
If a general election is called, we can expect a fierce campaign, with unpredictable times prompting fears of unpredictable results.
The disastrous 2017 snap election is still fresh in the minds of the Conservative Party, and while Mr Johnson is showing well in the polls, the Tories are anything but safe.
Already, Mr Johnson is working with a majority of just one seat in Parliament, after the Brexit Party split the remain vote in the Brecon by-election and the Tory seat fell to the Lib Dems.
The party is likely to lose some of its 13 seats in anti-Brexit stalwarts in Scotland and the South, including Mr Johnson’s own seat of Uxbridge, one of the most multi-cultural in the country.
A poll of 10,000 people conducted on Monday by FocalData for the Conservative Group for Europe suggested a snap election would produce another hung Parliament.
To succeed in an election at this stage, the Tories would need to snatch dozens of seats in the Leave, where families have a long-standing loyalty to the Labour Party.
The graph below shows the number of seats with a small margin which the Tories will defend, as well as those they will target.
The smaller the margin, the more likely the seat will swing.
The top ten Tory target seats, based on the lowest majority in the 2017 election for the winners, are:
- Perth and North Perthshire (Scotland) – current SNP majority of 21 – 0.02 percent needed to take
- Kensington (London) – current Labour majority of 20 – 0.03 percent needed to take
- Dudley North (West Midlands) – current Labour majority of 22 – 0.03 percent needed to take
- Newcastle-under-Lyme (West Midlands) – current Labour majority of 30 – 0.03 percent needed to take
- Crewe and Nantwich (North West) – current Labour majority of 48 – 0.04 percent needed to take
- Canterbury (South East) – current Labour majority of 187 – 0.16 percent needed to take
- Barrow and Furness (North West ) – current Labour majority of 209 – 0.22 percent needed to take
- Keighley (Yorkshire and the Humber) – current Labour majority of 249 – 0.24 percent needed to take
- Lanark and Hamilton (East Scotland) – current SNP majority of 266 – 0.26 percent needed to take
- Ashfield (East Midlands) – current Labour majority of 441 – 0.44 percent needed to take