Boris Johnson faces tough fight to hold his constituency in election sparking rumours he may switch to safer seat


BORIS Johnson faces a fight to hold his own constituency – leading to claims he could switch to a safer seat to avoid the humiliation of being beaten.

Should Mr Johnson lose his seat, he would be the first sitting Prime Minister to do so.

Boris Johnson faces a fight to keep his own seat in Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the December election

The last Tory leader to lose his seat was Arthur Balfour in 1906, who had resigned as prime minister a year earlier.

Mr Johnson has been MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in west London since 2015 when he returned to the Commons seven years after he left his safe Henley seat to become London Mayor.

When he first stood, he commanded a healthy majority of 10,695.

But in Theresa May’s disastrous election of 2017, this had halved to 5,034. A similar decline in his vote this time would see him lose his seat.

The PM is standing against Labour’s Ali Milani, a 25-year-old immigrant from Iran who grew up in an Uxbridge council house and attended the town’s Brunel University.

A bullish Mr Milani said: “I think we can beat him one on one, genuinely.

“People feel powerless there’s a small group of Tory members who will make him PM and we’re saying no you’re not powerless, we can unseat him here, this is all the power in the world.”

Momentum plans to aggressively target the seat in what it’s called an “Unseat Boris” campaign.

It is set to target it with hundreds of volunteers knocking on doors and pumping money into a social media operation to target swing voters.

To avoid humiliation, Labour claims Mr Johnson will announce in the next few days that he will stand for a seat with a much larger Tory majority.

Downing Street however described the rumours as “tosh and nonsense”.

A source told the Daily Mail: “The PM is focused on delivering Brexit and on the needs of the people of Uxbridge. It’s untrue.”

On Monday, Labour MP Stephen Doughty said he had heard Mr Johnson was looking at safer seats such as Sevenoaks, which is currently held by departing former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

He said: “Is he aware of the interesting rumour that has reached my ears that the Prime Minister might be planning not to stand in his own constituency at an upcoming general election, and that he has apparently instead lined up Sevenoaks or East Yorkshire?”

Mr Doughty had to apologise for referring to East Yorkshire, because the MP for that seat – Greg Knight – is not retiring.

Uxbridge has elected Tory MPs since 1966 but its demographics are changing as more young people move into the area.

Meanwhile Mr Johnson’s backtracking on his long-held opposition to a Heathrow third runway may also cost him votes.

The Prime Minister vowed to lie down “in front of bulldozers” to halt the runway when first elected as MP in 2015.

However when the crunch vote took place in the Commons he swanned off for a one-day trip to Afghanistan.

Research by the Tory think tank Onward this year suggested the seat was “vulnerable”.

The constituency is not just Uxbridge itself, but stretches up north towards Conservative heartlands of Buckinghamshire, taking in RAF Northolt, and through poorer areas in the south to border shadow chancellor John McDonnell’s seat of Hayes and Harlington.

The PM is standing against Labour’s Ali Milani, a 25-year-old immigrant from Iran who grew up in an Uxbridge council house

A hung Parliament before Labour took office… how the last December election played out

THE last time a December election was held was in 1923 the same year that Wembley hosted its first FA Cup Final.

Held on the 6th, the result was a hung Parliament and, a month later in January 1924, the first Labour government was formed with support from the Liberals. Ramsay MacDonald became Prime Minister for nine months, despite the Conservative Party winning the most seats in the vote.

At the time of the election, Brits enjoyed an average salary of 131 and the average house cost just 350 the equivalent of 20,000 today. It was possible to pick up a pint of milk for just 5p, while a loaf of bread sold for about 2p.

It was also the year Adolf Hitler was arrested for his part in the failed Beer Hall Putsch.

King George V presented Bolton Wanderers the FA Cup after their 2-0 triumph over West Ham during a packed final famed for the image of a white horse breaking up crowds.