The Tory leadership frontrunner could be blamed for senior Eurosceptics walking out on the Conservatives if he backtracks on his vow to deliver Brexit, with or without a deal. Mr Johnson’s support surged after he made his intentions clear, but he later clarified he was not aiming for a no deal exit. A former minister said if Mr Johnson changed course, it would be too much to bear for many Conservative party members, donors and MPs, and the party would be “over”.
They told the Sunday Express: “Boris has been told straight. We have backed him but he has got to keep his word. We have to leave on October 31 or it is over.
“The donors will be gone, the members will be gone and MPs will go. We will have no choice, it will have to be the Brexit Party.
“We have had promises from a Theresa May Government and been let down, we cannot be let down by a Boris Johnson Government. If we are, it is over.’
The ex-minister’s comments come as a new YouGov survey showed 47 percent of voters believe Mr Johnson can win an election, with just 15 percent saying the same for Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who is in second place in the polls.
Twenty-two percent of respondents said they would be more likely to back the Tories at the ballot box if Mr Johnson was leader.
The survey for The Times saw 1,672 adults take part on June 13-14.
The arch-Brexiteer is the only one of the six remaining candidates in the race for the Tory crown to refuse to take part in Sunday night’s live TV debate.
The other five – Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab, Sajid Javid and Rory Stewart – are all expected to appear on Channel 4’s programme this evening.
Mr Johnson has, however, agreed to show up the BBC’s debate, after Mr Hunt taunted him for “hiding away” from a public grilling.
At a Tory hustings in London on Saturday, said he was the man to take on Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which the new YouGov survey put in first place, on 24 percent.
Mr Johnson said: “I have experience of sucking away the oxygen of UKIP and Nigel Farage, they wouldn’t even stand against me the second time I stood in London.
“We can push them back in their box.”
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