More articles Tuesday 22 August 2017 9:12pm
Alan Johnson tells the Edinburgh International Book Festival that he Believes his Party Could Win the Next General Election
Former Labour Cabinet minister Alan Johnson believes his party “could very well win” the next general election if it is held within the next twelve months, while he says he would be “amazed” if David Davis is not Prime Minister “by early next year”.
“I think the trajectory we’re on and the state of the Conservative Party suggests that we could win,” he told his sell-out audience at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, “if it goes longer than next year it’s less [likely to be] the case, but I would put money on them winning in the next twelve months.”
Reflecting on June’s General Election, Johnson said “it was only a 2 per cent swing from Tories to Labour, we’re 64 seats away from a majority…so we have to recognize there’s still work to do, it’s not just one more heave. But you know I’ll be amazed if David Davis isn’t Prime Minister by early next year. I mean Theresa May is toast, it’s the timing of when it pops out of the toaster – she’s gonna go.”
Johnson was taking questions after talking about his latest book, The Long and Winding Road, the third volume in his multi award-winning autobiography. It covers his election as an MP for Hull in 1997 and his rise through the ministerial ranks to become Home Secretary in 2009.
Asked about last year’s European referendum, during which he chaired the Labour Party’s Remain campaign, Johnson said their job had been “to get Labour supporters to go and vote Remain”. “I’m pleased that 66 per cent of them did,” he added. “I think it should have been 74 per cent – that’s what we were aiming at – [but] in…every seat we got a majority of Labour supporters backing Remain.
“David Cameron, the leader of the Tory Party who got us into this bloody mess by his stupid idea to have a referendum on Europe, he could only get 44 per cent of Tory supporters to vote Remain. If he’d have got 50 per cent the result would have been completely different, so that’s where the failure [was]…I mean I’ll take my share of blame within the party but we did alright actually, two thirds [of Labour supporters] voted to Remain.”