Boris Johnson would not win an election outright, polling seen by No 10 suggests

Boris Johnson

Polling and modelling discussed by senior No 10 figures suggests the Tories would win around 295 to 300 seats in an election.

Downing Street has seen polling which suggests Boris Johnson would not win an election outright, according to a senior Tory adviser who lost his job at the weekend.

Polling and modelling discussed by senior Number 10 figures suggests the Tories would win about 295 to 300 seats in an election.

This is short of the 325 needed for an outright majority, and would likely mean more gridlock and uncertainty in parliament.

After Boris Johnson removed the whip from 21 Tory MPs who rebelled last week, and after Amber Rudd resigned as well, the Tories now have 288 MPs who formally take the whip.

Jason Stein, Amber Rudd’s former special adviser, said that the polling – carried out in the last two weeks – suggests “we are looking at picking up roughly 295 to 300 seats”.

He said that top advisers like Dominic Cummings are privately upfront about the scale of the electoral challenge ahead, adding: “Number 10 themselves will privately tell you, this will be a tough election, they’re not expecting this to be the land of milk and honey.

“It is just the simple fact that we’re going to lose seats in London, in the South West, in Scotland… They need to be replaced, they’re already 10 behind, we to win 35 seats in areas we’ve never won before just to break even.”

Mr Stein said that, despite the polling, Number 10 is not panicking.

“I don’t think they are starting to panic or getting nervous,” he said.

Mr Stein added that despite “all the headwinds hitting them”, Downing Street is being sustained by a “clarity of purpose”.

Mr Johnson is pushing for an election after MPs took control of the Commons agenda and passed a law mandating him to ask the EU for a Brexit delay.

MPs will vote on a motion calling for a snap election later, but it is not expected to get the two-thirds majority required to pass.

This is because opposition parties want the current Brexit deadline of 31 October to be extended, to avoid the prospect of a no-deal exit then.