LONDON — When Boris Johnson won a landslide election victory for his Conservative Party in 2019, he loomed as a colossus over British politics, the man who had redrawn the country’s political map with a vow to “get Brexit done.”
With an 80-seat majority in Parliament, the greatest amassed by a Conservative leader since Margaret Thatcher in 1987, Mr. Johnson seemed assured of five years in power. Some analysts predicted a comfortable decade in 10 Downing Street for Mr. Johnson, the most reliable vote-getter in British politics.
Now, just two and a half years after that triumph, Mr. Johnson’s political invincibility has been shattered. He stands on the brink of being forced to resign amid a new wave of cabinet resignations and outrage from fellow Tories.
To some extent, Mr. Johnson’s standing crumbled because of the same confounding mix of strengths and foibles that propelled his rise: rare political intuition offset by breathtaking personal recklessness; a sense of history not matched by a corresponding sense of how he should conduct himself as a leader; uncanny people skills vitiated by a transactional style that earned him few allies and left him isolated at dangerous moments.
It is that last quality, analysts say, that made Mr. Johnson so vulnerable to the setbacks he has suffered. With no underlying ideology beyond Brexit and no network of political friends, the prime minister lost the support of lawmakers in his party when it became clear they could not count on him to win the next election.
“Johnson’s such an accomplished escape artist, and his colleagues so craven and cowardly that you can’t rule out him living to fight another day,” said Tim Bale, a professor of politics at Queen Mary University of London. “But for what precisely? ‘There’s no there there,’ as the saying goes.”