The shortest reigning Prime Minister in UK history was George Canning who lasted 119 days from April to August 1827. Johnson is 69 days into his tenure and his odds of surviving have plummeted.

By Ian Horswill


Posted on September 25, 2019

Boris Johnson has been Prime Minister of the UK for 69 days and the decision by the UK Supreme Court to rule that his five-week suspension of Parliament was unlawful, on what would have to have been the worst day of his professional life.

To write that Boris Johnson has had a chastening time as UK Prime Minister is an understatement. He does not have a working majority in Parliament after colleagues crossed the floor against him and he has lost every vote in Parliament that he has put forward; he has expelled 21 Conservative Party MPs and even his brother quit the government. Johnson has been ordered to find a new agreement to leave the European Union by 19 October or he is required to ask for a three-month extension to Brexit negotiations.

Despite all this and hearing Supreme Court President Lady Hale say his advice to the Queen “was unlawful because it had the effect of frustrating or preventing the ability of Parliament to carry out its constitutional functions without reasonable justification”, Johnson is defiant.

Boris Johnson, in New York for the UN General Assembly, said: “And so I just want to say to everybody watching back home, for the avoidance of doubt I have the highest respect, of course, for our judiciary and for the independence of our courts.

“But I must say I strongly disagree with this judgement.

“And we in the UK will not be deterred from getting on and delivering on the will of the people to come out of the EU on October the 31st, because that is what we were mandated to do.”

The UK Parliament will resume on Wednesday (UK time) with Boris Johnson having to cut short his stay at the UN General Assembly and the opposition Labour Party having to cut short its party conference after three days of bitter infighting that had dominated UK headlines. Johnson is expected to make a statement and will have to stare down the calls for his resignation.

Jeremy Corbyn demanded Johnson resign after the Supreme Court and said his party was ready for a general election.

“The government will be held to account for what it has done. Boris Johnson has been found to have misled the country. This unelected prime minister should now resign,” Corbyn said.

Jeremy Corbyn Labour Party UK

Calls for Johnson to resign were echoed by Scotland’s First Minister, the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon; Wales’ First Minister, Labour’s Mark Drakeford; and Sinn Fein’s vice president, Michelle O’Neill.

But in truth, Corbyn is trapped, as CNN reported, with no way of triggering an election on his terms.

“Ordinarily, you would expect an opposition leader, confronted with a weak and floundering Prime Minister, to schedule a vote of no confidence. In theory, that could happen as soon as this week. However, the constitutional process that follows could allow Johnson to sit out the October 31 Brexit deadline and have the UK leave without a negotiated deal — something Corbyn has pledged to avoid,” wrote CNN’s Luke McGee.

However, Johnson is equally trapped. He has no majority to pass a Brexit deal in the Parliament, no support to call an early election on his own terms. Everything he proposes is voted down. He though maintains he will get an agreement for the UK to leave the European Union as the British population agreed in a vote in June 2016.

The shortest reigning Prime Minister in UK history was George Canning who lasted 119 days from April to August 1827.

Johnson’s chances of seeing out the year as PM plummeted from 6/4 into 10/11. At the beginning of the month, it was 7-2.

“BoJo has lost his mojo, and the bookies are becoming increasingly confident the beleaguered PM will be out-of-office before 2019 is out,” said Oddschecker spokesman Callum Wilson.