Boris Johnson will not return to No 10 if he teams up with Nigel Farage, according to a polling expert.
Professor Sir John Curtice said while the former PM and politician-turned-broadcaster could “do an awful lot of damage” to the Conservatives by coming together, they are unlikely to win an election.
Prof Curtice told the Express: “If Boris is serious about his prospects of coming back in 10 Downing Street he’s not going to join up with Farage.
“While I can see how Farage and Johnson can do an awful lot of damage to the Conservative Party, I cannot see how they can win an election on their own.
“I therefore cannot see Boris Johnson becoming prime minister via this vehicle and meanwhile he’ll be expelled from the Conservative Party.”
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It comes as Mr Farage has hinted at a new alliance with Mr Johnson, who sensationally quit as an MP last Friday, to defend Brexit.
Prof Curtice said such a move “probably would ensure the Conservatives will indeed crash to a heavy defeat” at the next general election by splitting the vote.
But he warned it would prove harder for a new party on the right to take seats in the Commons.
The polling wizard said: “Nobody has of yet managed to create a stable long-term political party with long-term support on the eurosceptic side.”
Pointing to Ukip and the Brexit Party, he added: “If we’re talking about a spoiling operation then maybe it doesn’t matter too much.
“But if you’re actually trying to be serious about trying to win seats in the House of Commons then you need to be able to create a party organisation and be able to defeat the electoral system and that’s something that has so far eluded the eurosceptic right.”
Prof Curtice’s comments come after Mr Farage floated the idea of joining up with Mr Johnson, who has vowed to Express readers he will return to frontline politics.
The former Ukip leader said: “If he wants to defend his Brexit legacy, I want to defend my Brexit legacy too.
“Would there be a possibility of a new coming together on the centre-right?
“It would be Boris Johnson, there would be other MPs that would join in with this as well.”
He added: “I have discussed it with people very close to him and around him.”