Boris Johnson's leadership will be a 'slow death' says Neil

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Express.co.uk has been told that the so-called 80/20 Club of Conservative MPs and candidates in 100 key seats have been asked to hand in their “election plans” as speculation of a snap general election grows. The group refers to the 80 marginal seats the Tories would need to defend from any potential Labour/Liberal Democrats Rejoiner alliance and the top 20 seats that are targets to win.

It is believed that an early poll will restore Mr Johnson’s position and authority as strikes are planned by hard-Left unions and pro-EU peers seeking to block Brexit legislation in the House of Lords.

Currently, a general election is due to take place no later than January 24, 2025. 

But now, sources have claimed that Mr Johnson is preparing to push his Party to battle after his double-defeat in the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-elections.

He has also fuelled speculation after declining to rule out a September election three times while questioned by journalists at the Nato conference in Spain.

Mr Johnson avoided answering questions on whether he would rule out calling a snap general election to end internal Party conflict.

His allies insist he wants to “get s**t done” rather than hold another vote, while some Conservative MPs do not think a snap poll would be beneficial, branding it as “suicidal”.

Several MPs Express.co.uk spoke to indicated that they were cancelling their holidays in the early autumn because they anticipate Mr Johnson will “pull the trigger and go for an election”. 

One MP in the 80/20 club said: “We were first told it might be helpful to have our plans for the election in by July 1, then it was set as a hard deadline.

“There isn’t much to it though because we don’t have many resources. It’s a leaflet drop and how we are going to get volunteers to help us. That sort of thing.”

Conservative MPs have also said that the reason for a snap election is to avoid any further potential investigations into Partygate allegations.

One senior backbencher said: “It is the best way to draw a line under the whole affair.

“If he goes to the country and wins, then he can ignore the inquiry and say he has a new mandate.

“No embarrassing evidence sessions and no pressure to resign if he is found to have lied to Parliament.”

While a senior source said: “The PM won an 80-seat majority, people want us to use it to get s**t done, rather than hold another vote.”

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The likelihood of a snap election will increase if Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer is forced to resign over his lockdown breaches in “beergate” – a decision is expected from Durham Police imminently. 

One Conservative MP said: “With Labour in chaos it will be a perfect time for the Prime Minister to go to the country.” 

A Cabinet source revealed earlier this month that the likelihood of a September election is a “strong possibility” with Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle understood to be preparing for an early poll. 

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