The main driver of the GE2019 “red wall” gains was the then LAB leader
One of the key factors about Johnson’s electoral successes is that they have happened when he’s been up against LAB opponents who subsequently became massive negatives for their party. Thus Boris beat Ken Livingstone for the London Mayoralty in 2008 and 2012 and his 2019 general election victory was against Corbyn who by then had been hugely discredited.
If as looks increasingly likely neither the Tories or LAB will change their leaders before the next general election then a bigger challenge for the Tories is that it will be much harder to go negative against Starmer who is still beating Johnson in the approval ratings. So far jibes against Starmer calling him “Captain Hindsight” and so on have nothing nothing like the potency of the attacks the Tories were able to deploy against LAB when Corbyn was leader.
Above is chart from Opinium’s on the day survey at GE2019 and shows very clearly how much of a negative Corbyn was for his party and why he made LAB so vulnerable leading to their worst election in 85 years.
The next general election is probably going to take place on the first Thursday in May 2024 and the latest leader satisfaction ratings published yesterday by Ipsos has Starmer still with a clear net lead over Johnson of 14% which is good for him given the kudos that the PM is getting currently from the success of the vaccine roll-out.
On Betfair Starmer is rated as a 20% chance to be next PM. That looks like a value bet.