Could Johnson lose his seat?

The prime minister's seat is not safe in an election

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Could Boris Johnson lose his seat at a general election?

By Joe Harker

A woman in Boris Johnson's constituency of Uxbridge and South Ruislip went viral over the weekend when she was asked about her opinion of the prime minister.

She told reporters "do not mention that name in front of me", calling Johnson a "filthy piece of toe rag".

While many ill-disposed towards the prime minister laughed at the outburst it raised a real concern for Johnson, that his constituency is not exactly what you'd call secure.

The Claim:

Sky News reports that Johnson, who has stood in Uxbridge and South Ruislip since 2015 and held it in 2017, saw his majority halved during the most recent general election.

Demographic changes in the seat have made things worse for Johnson. More diversity, more students and more young families have entered the constituency. Each group is unlikely to vote Conservative.

Labour are the second largest party in the constituency and their candidate Ali Milani, has seen a veritable army of volunteers pitch in to help him campaign in an attempt to unseat Johnson.

He believes the demographical shift in the seat makes it "not a question of if, but when, Labour win here".

It would be the ultimate humiliation for the prime minister to lose his seat in a general election and most in politics who do not support Johnson are decidedly against him. Many would dearly love to see him standing on a stage in Uxbridge on election night hearing he's no longer an MP.

Johnson is a polarising figure, prompting vociferous support and opposition. He might have made his own position less stable and made his constituency a target for being flipped to Labour.

The Counter Claim:

However, the Daily Express reports that polling experts from Britain Thinks have rated the chance of a Labour victory as "very unlikely".

Deborah Mattinson explained one of the main factors in close seats is incumbency, meaning Johnson's status as the current sitting MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip hands him an advantage as people in the area know him.

If there is a general election before Brexit then splits between Remain voters ought to play into Johnson's hands as Remainers will be divided between Labour and the Liberal Democrats while most Leave supporters will vote Conservative.

As long as the Brexit Party, who have said they will stand a candidate in the constituency, doesn't swallow up too many Tory voters then the prime minister ought to be safe.

By comparison UKIP's vote collapsed in 2017, dropping from over 6,000 in 2015 to just over 1,500 during the last election.

The Facts:

Don't get too excited at the prospect of Johnson losing his seat at a general election he desperately wanted. The chances of him actually losing his seat this time around are low, though could rise in the future as the demographics of the constituency change.

He would also still be party leader even if he wasn't an MP.

If the Tories won a general election, or at least were the largest minority party, but Johnson lost his seat then the most likely scenario would be a Conservative MP in a safe seat would be obliged to stand down.

This would trigger a by-election where Johnson would stand and almost certainly win, allowing him to stay on as prime minister.

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