Johnson and Farage In Secret Deal? Who Forced Whom?


Rumors are swilling of a secret deal between Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage? What's the real story?

Farage Softens Stance

Yesterday, the Guardian commented Nigel Farage Softens Stance in Attempt to Form Pact with Tories.

Nigel Farage has pulled back on his “drop the deal” threat to Boris Johnson in an attempt to get the prime minister to sign an election pact with the Brexit party.

Farage offered Johnson a deal last week in which his party would stand down in seats where the Tory candidate believed in a no-deal or “clean Brexit” and would want to abandon Johnson’s deal. In return, he wanted his party to have a free run at Labour heartland seats.

Farage has been criticised for the logic of his strategy to go after the vote in Labour heartlands, given that the majority of Ukip’s vote in the last two elections came from former Tory voters. His last significant inroad into the Labour vote was in 2010.

Speaking to the Guardian in Blackwood, South Wales, Farage said he would be willing to do a deal with the Tories if they accepted two principles.

I think the deal is shocking because it is just not Brexit, but is there a way from a leaver’s perspective we can perhaps get this into a position that might be manageable? I think if you drop the clause that allows for endless extension that’s a huge head start, and, secondly, that this is a trade negotiation, not one based on political and economic alignment,” he said.

What Will Farage Settle For?

I read the above article yesterday as useless information.

Johnson would never agree to give the Brexit party free rein in any region. The proposed deal was a non-starter.

But what is Farage's real demand?

If it is merely to drop endless extensions, that is something Johnson has already stated.

Secret Deal?

Today, the Daily Mail reports Nigel Farage IS 'in secret talks with Boris Johnson to pull the majority of Brexit Party candidates out of the election - in return for the PM negotiating a harder deal.

There is not much "secret" about any of this. Both Johnson and Farage are all over the news.

Johnson Will Not Extend Transition Period

Please consider this YouTube Video from today.

Boris Johnson says he will not extend the transition period beyond 2020.

That has been his position all along, but by emphasizing it and throwing in another small bone or two, Farage may go along.

Who Backed Down?

If there is a deal based on Johnson saying he will not extend the transition period, then it was Farage who caved.

Farage was hoping to bully Johnson into No Deal at all vs a WTO deal within Johnson's deal.

Johnson's position has not changed, but today's video does emphasize a point that Farage wants.

If that changes the number of Brexit Party candidates, the it was a Farage bluff all along.

However, today's video allows Farage to save face. Farage can claim he got Johnson to bend even if he didn't.

We will not know until there is an official announcement.

Snatching Defeat From Jaws of Victory

Farage is under pressure in many places.

Brexit Central posted many articles discussing how Farage could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

The Sun comments Nigel Farage’s election threat is not a political strategy – it’s a suicide mission that could let Corbyn into No10.

Farage Overplayed his Hand

Farage overplayed his hand. But we still do not know if it was a bluff.

Either way, Johnson's strategy has been to mitigate the damage Farage can inflict.

That video today is aims at just that.

UK General Election Polls After Parliament Authorized Elections

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The four most recent polls were taken after Parliament was dissolved.

Please see Opinion polling for the 2019 United Kingdom general election for all the political parties.

Six Polls Before Parliament Authorized Elections

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Declining Brexit Party Support

  • 4 Poll Average Since Parliament Dissolved: 7.5%
  • 11 Poll Average Between Elections Authorized and Dissolution: 10.4%
  • 6 Poll Average Before Election Decision: 10.5%
  • Go back to Mid-September (not shown) and the average was 13%

Six Polls Before Election Announcement vs Four After Parliament Dissolved

  • Liberal Democrats: 18.33% Then vs 15.75% Now (-2.76 PP)
  • Brexit Party: 10.5% Then vs 7.50% Now (-3 PP)
  • Labor Party: 23.17% Then vs 28.50% Now (5.33 PP)
  • Tory Party: 37.83% Then vs 40.25% Now (2.42 PP)
  • Greens: 4.67% Then vs 2.50% Now (-2.17 PP)


  1. The Tories are gaining at the expense of the Brexit Party
  2. Labour is gaining at the expense of the Liberal Democrats and Greens
  3. Liberal Democrat Loss + Green Loss = -4.93 PP
  4. Labour Gain of 5.33 PP nearly equals Lib Dem + Green Loss

Silliness of Farage's Position in One Tweet

Daniel Hannan is a true free market advocate. I would vote for him for US president in a flash if he could run.

One should respect his opinion.

Pact or Not, Johnson is Succeeding

The polls show Johnson's strategy is succeeding.

Johnson is slowly siphoning off Brexit Party votes.

Labour is also siphoning off votes from the Liberal Democrats and the Greens at a greater pace. However, the Greens only have 2.5 percentage points more to give.

We are at the end of the line for the Green tactical voting to aid the Remain cause. A Green reversal (deciding to vote Green), would hurt the Remain cause.

A Johnson Farage alliance or simply more vote siphoning off the Brexit Party has much further to go relatively speaking.

Unless there is a radical shift in the polls, or the polls are radically wrong, the Brexit Party will not prevent a Johnson majority.

Alliance or not my UK Election Math suggests a big Tory Majority.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (51)
No. 1-12
Country Bob
Country Bob

@Mish Editor -- sorry if the squabble with @Casual_Observer ended up monopolizing the previous thread.

I have little if any interest in the Brexit fiasco. I would note that one hundred years ago give or take, the UK was THE global super power. A combination of pseudo-socialism and a bloated bureaucracy transformed that global power into an EU side show that now struggles to regain control of their own destiny... and the bureaucracy seems unable to actually pull the trigger.

The UK is a sad tale of what used to be and what could have been, if only they didn't shoot themselves in the foot. I only hope the citizens of the USA use England's mistakes as a cautionary tale



Bob, if you have no interest there is a simple solution.

Don't comment. Instead, comment on posts of interest to you.

Seems pretty easy to me.


We shall see, but still

(1) " the Tories don’t seem to grasp that if they don’t form a non-aggression pact with the Brexit Party their seats in the South of England and the West Country will be taken by the Liberal Democrats..."

(2) Mish, what... me worry ?
In your very last post only 2 days ago you calculated that Labour can only pick up 2% of seats, right ? Did I interpret you correctly per data below ? So why would Labour suddenly become a problem from one day to the other ?

(3) Mish, you conclude that " The Tories are gaining at the expense of the Brexit Party " . So what is this sudden concern over Brexit Party syphoning off votes that (supposedly) belong to the Tories ?

Why worry about Farage ´snatching defeat from the jaws of victory´ stuff and JC at 10 Downing Street if the Brexit Party has (supposedly) halved its voters lately ?

Probabilities Based on Current Polls

Outright Labour Win: 2%
Hung Parliament: 23%
Small Majority (by 1-6 seats): 15%
Medium Majority (by 7-20 seats): 25%
Big Majority (by 21-40 seats): 20%
Blowout (over 40 seats): 15%

re BRINO (Brexit In Name Only) and future civil unrest.

(A) " We don´t need Brexit perfection "

No, but we do need a version of real Brexit, not BRINO.

Bojo´s new EU-Treaty proposal is only slightly better than Theresa May´s which happened to be the worse EU-Treaty proposal EVER, worse than Moldavia´s. It even throws NI under the bus.

(B) "Let´s get it done ASAP so as to work out improvements later."

There won´t be any "later" for many essential issues.

(C) "The crevice does not have to be jumped in one leap"

The above ignores the tremendous (and silent) EU success that Michel Barnier has imposed with the EU-most favorable sequencing of the (supposed) Brexit process. Many (most) important issues CANNOT be re-opened.

The instant Bojo´s EU Treaty proposal is accepted by the UK Parliament then BRINO wins.


Mish, aren’t these polls very much like the polls for Hillary Clinton? They were meant to push the voters a certain way. I doubt very much that Brexit is pulling the low numbers you seem to believe in. If BoJo believes these polls then he will not be talking to Farage. He is an elite and despises Farage’s vulgarity. The ONLY reason he will talk to Farage is because he MUST.



OT. We will rent in Utah for 1 year If we like, we stay and buy If not, we move Possible we have a summer home further north. All kinds of options. I highly doubt Mormons will be a problem


@Mish Editor if Bob were truly apologetic it is me who should receive the apology. If he keeps up the personal insults and attacks then I have no issue insulting him back or continuing any thread he repeatedly calls me out on for literally no legitimate reason. I've been reading your blog and commenting since you left the tech industry in the early 2000s and will not be run off by his insults.


Has Farage found a ladder to climb down? Monday morning he cuts number of Brexit Party candidates to about 300. Will not stand against existing Conservative MPs. That's a big first step. Expect a few more steps before Thursday.


Remainers squirm. Tories have married Brexit, or at least they are in bed.

Nicola Sturgeon worded it perfectly:
" The Tory party has now effectively become the Brexit party "

Jo Swinson followed right on cue: " The Conservative Party are the Brexit Party now.”

Lib Dem deputy leader Sir Ed Davey said " This shows the Conservatives and the Brexit Party are now one and the same".

Nigel Farage is some one-man genial show, script & performance.


"Daniel Hannan is a true free market advocate. I would vote for him for US president in a flash if he could run."

Gee, Mish, you could have had Boris a couple years ago ;)


I was introduced to Nigel in 2014, and he shared his political philosophy with me and my brother-in-law over a drink. It appears that he is operating under his prime philosophy of never sacrificing the main objective (of moving ever closer to Brexit) to achieve a lesser goal (in this case, hold Boris accountable). My take: there’s no secret deal or pressure to cave — I think he’s hoping to win seats and negotiate the best deal he can after that.


I don't think there is enough time for the Conservative lead to decline enough not to win a majority, but the Brexit Party is making a mistake - when the final deal emerges in 3 years time or later, it will be seen as a bad deal. As for Hannan, remind me which party he's in, just in case a bit of self-interest may influence his views? Why is £39bn and probably £65bn for nothing a good deal?