The New York Times reports:
Boris Johnson has been British prime minister for barely a week, and the honeymoon appears to be over. His Conservative Party lost a special election, cutting his working majority in Parliament to just one seat at a critical moment for the country.
The narrow defeat in a previously Conservative-held district, the Brecon and Radnorshire area of Wales, was a brutal reminder of Mr. Johnson’s weakness in Parliament.
It immediately fueled speculation that Mr. Johnson would seek to increase his majority by holding a general election sooner rather than later. The only question is whether it would be before or after Oct. 31, the deadline for the country to leave the European Union.
The Independent reports:
Boris Johnson has suffered a blow to his authority after the Liberal Democrats overturned the Tory majority in Brecon and Radnorshire by-election, powered by a “Remain alliance”.
Jo Swinson, the new Lib Dem leader, suggested future electoral pacts between pro-EU parties after Plaid Cymru and the Greens threw their weight behind her party for the ballot, which reduced the Tory majority to only one.
“It is still eminently possible to stop Brexit,” she said, at an event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. “Delivering a People’s Vote is still an option – the way in which in March we took control of the order paper – that is something which could be done again.”
On a very related note, check out this CNN opinion column on whether Johnson might end up being the last prime minister of the current United Kingdom, should Brexit ultimately fracture the four-nation alliance.