Mr Johnson, the former London Mayor, said he felt both parties making losses in the European and local elections was a sign an unlikely alliance with the opposition party was possible. Though Labour won the recent Peterborough by election, they made a 17.2 percent loss compared to 2017. Mr Johnson told the Daily Mail: “Look at where Labour is now – 18 points. These are not propitious circumstances for either of the main parties and we need to move on and get this thing done.”
With the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats the best performing parties in May’s European elections, the former Foreign Secretary said: “We’re haemorrhaging votes to the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats and they are both predating on that sense of failure by the political establishment.”
The idea of a Conservative-Labour alliance is not completely alien despite their differing views on a wide range of issues, with the parties having even been in power together before.
In 1931, with Britain suffering in the aftermath of the Wall Street Crash, a national government was formed featuring the Tories, Labour and then Liberal Party.
This government was not referred to as a coalition due to failures of the most recent governments to use that name but had Labour’s Ramsey MacDonald as Prime Minister and Tory Stanley Baldwin as his deputy.
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However, with several Labour MPs rejecting a Tory alliance, it was a Labour MP, Arthur Henderson, who was leader of the opposition.
The government managed to stay in power following a General Election and the alliance was maintained in 1935 but this time with Mr Baldwin as Prime Minister.
Mr Baldwin’s successor Neville Chamberlain headed a fourth national government and Winston Churchill also lead another coalition government with future PM Clement Attlee of Labour as his deputy after 1942.
Indeed, on terms of votes on single issues, like a vote on no deal may prove to be, more Labour MPs voted against Tony Blair’s decision to invade Iraq in 2003 than Tories.
Then leader Iain Duncan Smith had been one of the first to call for an invasion after holding talks with US officials in Washington in November 2001.
A group of 84 Labour MPs rebelled against Mr Blair, including Commons leader Robin Cook, who resigned, compared to just two Tory MPs (John Randall and Richard Bacon).
Abstentions involved 69 from Labour and 17 Tories.
Mr Johnson will learn if he or Jeremy Hunt will be the man tasked with delivering Brexit on July 23 when the ballot of 160,000 Tory members is completed and votes counted.