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New poll shows Boris Johnson unstoppable in race for Downing Street

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-07-12 10:05
Boris Johnson, a leadership candidate for Britain's Conservative Party, attends a hustings event in Maidstone, Britain July 11, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is now unstoppable in the two-man race to succeed Theresa May as prime minister, the latest poll revealed Thursday.

Even if every one of the 28 percent of Conservative members still to vote put their crosses against rival Jeremy Hunt's name, Johnson would still win by a landslide.

That was the verdict of a poll among party members conducted by the website ConservativeHome.

According to a poll of party members by ConservativeHome 71 percent said they had already voted, with 72 percent backing Johnson and 28 percent voting for Jeremy Hunt.

Paul Goodman, editor of ConservativeHome, said: "If the survey is accurate, it would be reasonable to assume, on the evidence available at the moment, that Johnson will win somewhere between 67 percent and 72 percent of the vote.

"Johnson has won this contest already. Even if the entire 28 percent of those who haven't voted yet opt for Hunt, he cannot catch the front-runner."

Commenting on the poll, the Guardian newspaper said: "We won't know for sure for another 12 days, but in the past these surveys have been a fairly reliable guide to how people vote in internal Conservative elections."

The boost for Johnson comes just days after YouGov poll of Conservative members which also gave Johnson an enormous lead over Hunt, the current foreign secretary.

Johnson still has critics from within his own Conservative Party, with former Prime Minister Sir John Major saying in an interview he would support legal action to prevent Johnson shutting down the House of Commons. A rare procedure known as proroguing parliament could be used to stop MPs blocking a no-deal Brexit in the House of Commons.

It would mean Queen Elizabeth II being asked to suspend parliament. Political commentators have described it as the "nuclear option" to force through a no-deal Brexit if Brussels rejects a deal for Britain's withdrawal from the European Union.

In the House of Commons Thursday Labor's Valerie Vaz, the shadow leader of the Commons told MPs that her party would support Major's challenge if he took it to court for a judicial review.

Vaz asked the Leader of the Commons, Conservative MP Mel Stride: "Will the government explicitly rule out proroguing parliament to force a no-deal Brexit? The opposition stands with Sir John Major, who said that he would seek a judicial review in the courts if the new Prime Minister tried to suspend Parliament to deliver a no-deal Brexit."

Vaz said she agreed with former Attorney General, the Conservative MP Dominic Grieve, who had commented that if parliament was suspended it would be the end of parliamentary democracy.

Stride responded: "The Government do not believe that (suspending parliament) would be a desirable situation, not least because it would put the monarch in the awkward position of being involved in what is essentially a political decision given that it is Prorogation based on the advice of the Prime Minister, but ultimately granted by the Queen."

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