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We have not looked at this betting chart for some time but clearly the chances of Johnson getting a second successive majority have taken a hit in recent months and are now at their lowest point since March. There is a similar pattern in the Johnson exit date betting.

It is not long, surely, before the issue of whether the PM is the right person to lead the party next time will become much more widely discussed.

There’s no doubt that he has had a Nightmare November with the latest U-turn on regional railway policy the latest factor. It was only at the party conference last month that Johnson was once again getting the applause from the party faithful for reiterating his commitment to the Manchester to Leeds high-speed line.

But we could be three years away from the next election and a lot can happen in the intervening period. I find it hard to envisage a significant Tory recovery under the current leadership.

Mike Smithson

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