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Boris Johnson fuelled ongoing speculation of a future comeback after he said the Tories are in a worse position than when he was prime minister.

The ex-PM highlighted Labour’s double-digit lead over the Conservatives in polling.

Speaking during a visit to Australia Mr Johnson said: “It would be remiss of me not to make the observation that they are now facing a considerable defeat in the polls, a much bigger differential than when I was leader, by about 20 points.”

But the former premier insisted the gap was not “insurmountable”, adding that there was a “long time” until the next general election which must take place by January 2025.

Mr Johnson’s intervention comes as speculation continues over whether he will one day make a dramatic political return.

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The 59-year-old was forced out of No 10 in the summer of last year following a series of scandals.

Mr Johnson quit as Uxbridge and South Ruislip’s MP in June ahead of a report by the Privileges Committee, which allies branded a “kangaroo court”, concluding he misled Parliament over the partygate row.

The defiant ex-prime minister – who won a landslide in the 2019 general election, vowed to Daily Express readers “I’ll be back” following his dramatic resignation.

He said: “I want to thank all the wonderful Express readers across the country for their continuing support.

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“We must fully deliver on Brexit and on the 2019 manifesto. We must smash Labour at the next election.

“Nothing less than absolute victory and total Brexit will do – and as the great Arnold Schwarzenegger said, I’ll be back.”

Former Ukip and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage has hinted he could rejoin the Tories if Mr Johnson returned.

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