Boris Johnson would not win an election outright, according to a senior Tory adviser who lost his job at the weekend. Polling and modelling discussed by senior Number 10 figures suggests the Tories would win about 295 to 300 seats in an election – 25 short needed for an outright majority in Parliament. It follows Mr Johnson expelling 21 Tory MPs from the party who rebelled last week.
And following the resignation of Amber Rudd, the party is now down to 288 MPs who formally take the whip.
Jason Stein, the former adviser to amber rudd, who quit on Sunday, said polling suggests “we are looking at picking up roughly 295 to 300 seats”.
Mr Stein said advisors knew the scale of the task ahead; claiming: “Number 10 themselves will privately tell you, this will be a tough election, they’re not expecting this to be the land of milk and honey.
“It is just the simple fact that we’re going to lose seats in London, in the South West, in Scotland.
“They need to be replaced, they’re already 10 behind, we to win 35 seats in areas we’ve never won before just to break even.”
The new comes after Chancellor Sajid Javid refused to rule out an election pact with Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.
Mr Javid said the Tories did not need an “electoral alliance” but did not formally rule out any pact.
Mr Farage has offered a pact between the two parties following the Conservatives losing votes in the 2019 European Parliament elections.
Meanwhile, SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said an election cannot be held while Mr Johnson “continues to subvert the law”
Mr Blackford said: “It is clear there must be an early election – but it cannot happen while the Tory government is threatening to subvert the law to force through a catastrophic no-deal Brexit on October 31.
“If Boris Johnson wants an election he must obey the law and take a no-deal Brexit off the table.
“It is beyond belief that the prime minister is disrespecting democracy by seeking to shut down parliament and railroad through an extreme Brexit against the will of parliament and the people.
“Once the threat of no-deal is off the table, we will move for an early election.”
Meanwhile, Opposition leaders have agreed not to back Boris Johnson’s bid to secure a general election, Labour has said.
A party spokeswoman said: “Jeremy Corbyn hosted a meeting with opposition party leaders this morning.
“They agreed to work together today to hold the Government to account in Parliament.
“All leaders agreed that they would not support Boris Johnson’s ploy to deny the people their decision by crashing us out of the EU with no deal during a general election campaign.”