The latest YouGov poll of Conservative members puts Jeremy Hunt on 26% with Boris Johnson taking 74% of the vote. The “surge” alluded to by the Hunt team, appears to have evaporated (did it ever exist? Is Jeremy Hunt as good a negotiator as he claims?). Anyway, if Boris Johnson is elected by the Conservative membership, he will become the Leader of the Party, but not the Prime Minister. The Queen will then appoint the person “most likely” to achieve the confidence of the House of Commons. The Conservatives, together with the DUP, have a majority of three, so, if Boris is offered the Prime Ministers job by the Queen, look out for any Conservative MP’s resigning the Party whip to create an immediate constitutional crisis. Of course, Conservative MP’s could resign the whip the moment Johnson is elected Leader, which would then provide a quandary for the Queen. Without a working majority, Johnson could not be the most likely to achieve the confidence of the House. In that instance, Theresa May could put forward a humble address to state her confidence in Johnson, however, this tactic opens a door to amendments which could scupper Johnson’s stated aim to achieve a no deal Brexit on 31st October 2019.
So, Johnson may not actually become Prime Minister as I doubt he would be happy with the straitjacket of legally having to negotiate changes to the Withdrawal Agreement without the threat of a no deal on his side. If more than three Conservative MP’s resign the whip, then the most likely outcome is a General Election. This will require a vote in the House under the terms of the Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011. Corbyn will then have to get off the fence and vote with the Government to get a snap election. Labour are sitting in fourth position according to the most recent polls, so, Labour could possibly abstain in order to allow Johnson to take over as PM. This would allow Labour more time to decide its position on Brexit and allow time for Johnson to make a total hash of things.
Look out for any Conservative MP’s resigning the whip. If they don’t, then Johnson may just get the UK out of the EU by 31st October 2019 with no deal. If there is a General Election though and Johnson has been brought down by liberal remainers in the Conservative Parliament Party, that could just win him a majority with the electorate. The most likely outcome of a General Election though, is a coalition Government between the Conservatives and The Brexit Party. That is the only realistic route to power for Johnson and he will do a deal with Farage if he has to (and vice versa). If Corbyn seriously wants to be PM, he’s going to have to declare for Remain and hope that his core voters in the North of England do not desert him.