“Boris Johnson was ultimately brought down by Boris Johnson,” Professor of Politics Matt Goodwin at the University of Kent told Fox News Digital. “His fall from power owes far more to his personal failings as a frontline politician than to public policy.”
“That said, an intensifying cost of living crisis and sluggish growth was an unhelpful backdrop,” he added.
Johnson’s roughly three-year tenure ended in disarray last week after he threatened a standoff with his party and a possible general election following the resignation of dozens of ministers who deemed his position “untenable.” He says new leadership is “clearly now the will” of Parliament.BORIS JOHNSON RESIGNS: WHAT’S NEXT FOR UK
Conservative ministers declared that they had lost confidence in the prime minister after news emerged he had elevated Chris Pincher to the powerful role of deputy chief whip despite allegations of sexual misconduct.Some have suggested that the weakened British economy may have played a significant role in the acceleration of Johnson’s exit, with British inflation increasing 9.1% over the same period last year and continuing to rise.
“We are in the midst of the most serious financial crisis for a long time, with rising inflation and deteriorating living standards becoming a pressing concern for millions,” Goodwin, who is also a Fellow at Legatum, explained. “We can already see how this is spiraling into major unrest in countries such as Ecuador and Sri Lanka.”
On Thursday, Italy’s premier offered his resignation over the failure of a coalition partner to support a billion plus dollar stimulus bill to help both the public and industry with spiraling costs.
Democrat strategist and Fox News contributor Leslie Marshall stressed to Fox News Digital that Johnson was on his way out one way or the other since his party felt he had suffered “one ethics scandal too many.”
But she acknowledged that the economy will remain a chief concern for voters, which may have led to polling figures that indicated the Conservative party would lose control of Parliament if an election were held today.
“Johnson succeeded where his predecessor, Theresa May, failed by ‘getting Brexit done,’” Marshall said. “But the break with the European Union hasn’t delivered the boost to trade that he and other Brexit advocates promised.”
“[Johnson’s] popularity outside parliament has also been badly dented by surging inflation and stagnation in the British economy, a cost-of-living crisis that threatens to impoverish millions more people this winter, and the risk of a damaging trade war with the European Union,” she added.
“As James Carville said in ’92 – ‘it’s the economy stupid.’”
Ted Bromund, Senior Research Fellow in the Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, argued that Johnson’s support was not quite as strong as the party portrayed since he “didn’t govern like a conservative.”
“I attended the Conservative Party conference in the UK last September, October … [it] was very noticeable that the succession race was already running,” Bromund said. “People were already saying, ‘Look, we can’t stand this for much longer: We’re going to get through the next election with Boris, we’re going to win that one and we’re going to dump it because he’s not really a conservative.”
Bromund pointed to Johnson’s policies, which included taxes increases, a lack of regulatory reform and no assistance in the home building or buying process. He believed that Johnson continued to coast on his ability to deliver a Brexit deal, which many say will remain his legacy.
And Johnson’s fate could serve as a warning for other countries, including the United States, where economic issues remain rampant.
“Inflation and economy are number one on every voter’s minds and agendas,” Marshall said. “Gas prices have been lowering for over a week now, yet you don’t see that headline and you don’t see that reflected in the polls.”
“Unemployment is at its lowest; we have seen months with great labor numbers, hiring, etc … that doesn’t seem to affect it,” she added. “There are other issues: Abortion is important to some Democrats – although most recent polling doesn’t show it to be as strong an issue for voters as one would think it would be – and immigration is certainly an issue, as is crime.”