Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson should return to Number 10 after just six weeks away, according to Express.co.uk readers asked in a new poll. Mr Johnson has not yet officially declared his candidacy but has become a front-runner in the race to be the next Prime Minister.
Commons Leader Penny Mordaunt and ex-Chancellor Rishi Sunak have confirmed that they will be running in the contest. Mr Sunak has already received enough public endorsements to qualify, while Ms Mordaunt is reported to have 23 MPs backing her.
Announcing his candidacy on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, Mr Sunak said that he can “fix our economy, unite our party and deliver for our country”, promising to deliver the 2019 manifesto with “integrity, professionalism and accountability at every level of government”.
Mr Johnson is in second place with at least 56 supporters, but his campaign claims he has reached the threshold of 100.
He has won the support of six Cabinet ministers, including Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, Levelling Up Secretary Simon Clarke and Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
READ MORE: Boris has ‘more than 100 backers’ and will ‘win with members’
Candidates have until 2pm on Monday, October 24, to collect 100 nominations to participate in the leadership contest. Sir Graham Brady, head of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee, has said the new leader will be announced by Friday.
Supporter Jacob Rees-Mogg has confirmed Mr Johnson plans to run. The Business Secretary told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I have been speaking to Boris Johnson, and clearly he’s going to stand, there’s a great deal of support for him.”
An insider in Mr Johnson’s camp also claimed “he will win with the members” should he go head-to-head with Mr Sunak.
The minister on the organising team Mr Johnson’s campaign told Express.co.uk: “He will win with the members. It’s up to Rishi to make a deal now. We have the numbers, it’s a matter of ticking off the spreadsheet for tomorrow but that is what Jacob [Rees-Mogg] was able to announce Boris is definitely standing. He will not back out now.”
In a poll that ran from 11am on Saturday, October 22, to 2pm on Sunday, October 23, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Should Boris Johnson return as Prime Minister?”
In total, 22,531 people cast their votes with the vast majority, 69 percent (15,554 people) answering “yes”, Mr Johnson should return.
A further 30 percent (6,801 people) said “no” he should not, while one percent (176 people) said they did not know.
Hundreds of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers discussed the future of Mr Johnson’s political career.
The majority of readers argued that Mr Johnson should return to his position of Prime Minister and Tory leader, with username RalphR commenting: “He should never have gone. He needs to come back and finish the job.”
Username pessimisticmiss said: “Time is of the essence and we need action now to get the UK back on track. The only person who has the grit and experience to take over straight away is Boris.”
While username danielsinclair1 said: “Yes, of course Boris should be PM – no one can fill his shoes, we all make mistakes, he should be forgiven.”
And username backseat vote said: “Boris should come back he is the only one who can get us back on track.”
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Meanwhile, some readers suggested that he should not have resigned, with username P23969595W writing: “He should never have been so dishonourably pushed out, the greatest vote puller in 30 years, he will return and so he should!”
Likewise, username Another voter said: “Of course he should run, he should never have been ousted in the first place. He was the country’s choice, he’s well respected on the world stage. Come on Boris, we need you.”
However, many MPs have been critical of Mr Johnson’s potential comeback with Sir Roger Gale saying that he would resign. The MP for North Thanet told Times Radio: “We need to remember that Mr Johnson is still under investigation by the Privileges Committee for potentially misleading the House. Until that investigation is complete and he is found guilty or cleared, there should be no possibility of him returning to Government.”
Similarly, Northern Ireland minister Steve Baker told Sky’s Sophy Ridge On Sunday: “Boris would be a guaranteed disaster. There’s going to be a vote before the House of Commons on this issue of privileges, whether he deliberately misled the house. In that vote it’s guaranteed there’ll be a large number of Conservatives who will refuse, as they see it, to lay down their integrity to save him, and at that moment his premiership will collapse.”