Inauspicious debut

Not unexpectedly, Boris Johnson’s premiership has started with a defeat, as the Commons voted tonight to start the process of blocking a no-deal Brexit.

While losing the very first vote he faced in parliament is rather embarrassing, there is a strong suspicion that it is all part of Johnson’s plan to strengthen his grip on power, by luring the opposition into an election that he will attempt to frame as a struggle between his populist insurgency and entrenched elites, including those in his own party.

It’s likely there will be further drama this week, as the opposition attempt to curtail Johnson’s ability to choose an election date, but the odds are good that there will be a poll before the end of October. Then we’ll see whether his high-risk strategy pays off, or whether he becomes one of British history’s shortest footnotes.

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