THE results of the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-elections last week were so disastrous for the Conservative Party that they managed to break the usually reliable spin machine.

No amount of expectation management in advance could help Boris Johnson save face.

In the aftermath, we heard deluded nonsense from Johnson loyalists that these losses were merely a result of mid-term blues.

In Tiverton and Honiton, the LibDems managed to overturn a huge Tory majority to win the seat. In his victory speech, the new LibDem MP Richard Foord said: “Tonight, the people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain. They’ve sent a loud and clear message: It’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now.”

In a move that heaped more pressure on the wounded Prime Minister, Conservative Party co-chair Oliver Dowden resigned, pointedly telling Johnson: “We cannot carry on with business as usual.”

READ MORE: Lorna Slater says Scots can reject another decade of Boris Johnson

At this point, the Conservative Party looks like a burning building. As the flames engulf it, Johnson sits drinking wine at the kitchen table, surrounded by cans of petrol.

Nadine Dorries massages his shoulders and assures him that it’s not his fault and she will stay with him until the end. It’s mesmerising in a way to see a group of people so comfortable with humiliating themselves in defence of one man.

When Johnson is eventually dragged out of Downing Street – either by his party or by the electorate – he should consider a career as a cult leader. He already has a healthy pool of devoted followers to kick things off with.

Johnson responded to the by-election losses in a way that was true to form. Initially, he seemed to accept at least some personal responsibility for the results, saying that voters were: “Absolutely fed up hearing about things I stuffed up.’’ Cue much excitement as the media class worked itself into a state of frenzy that the narcissist-in-chief had finally acknowledged that he might have made some mistakes. Of course, it didn’t last long. In another interview, he insisted he wouldn’t change and said that anybody hoping for him to undergo a “psychological transformation” would be disappointed.

Then yesterday’s papers led on reports that Johnson is “actively considering” a third term in office.

Some senior Tories criticised the Prime Minister for his “delusional” statement as reports intensified about plans to remove him.

Under the rules of the backbench 1922 Committee, he technically should be safe from challenge for another year. But those rules can be changed at any time. Or the Cabinet could intervene and make it clear to Johnson that it is time to go.

Neither of those things seem likely in the short term at least, as the party remains paralysed by indecision and MPs seem content to warm their hands by the inferno of Johnson’s creation.

It wouldn’t be a bad week for the Conservative Party without some idiot MP giving an anonymous quote to a journalist to make it even worse.

These lads don’t realise that when they open their mouths to defend their man, they help expose the rot that he presides over.

One MP told the i newspaper that Neil Parish shouldn’t have stepped down after being caught watching porn in the House of Commons in full view of his colleagues.

They said: “Parish shouldn’t have resigned. He should have just gone away with his wife for a few weeks then come back to the job. I don’t know why the girls had to speak out like that.’’ The fact that this unnamed MP refers to their female colleagues as “girls” tells you everything you need to know.

He wasn’t he only one who blamed the women who made complaints for the by-election loss. Another said those who reported the MP should “feel like a turd in a swimming pool”.

It seems like Johnson isn’t the only one who should be in line for an urgent psychological transformation.

It requires a breathtaking commitment to misogyny to ignore the misdeeds of both Parish and Johnson and instead blame the women who felt uncomfortable at a man watching explicit material while in their company at work.

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Yesterday, Douglas Ross faced a bruising interview where he was quizzed on the ongoing Boris problem.

After flip-flopping on the issue, he has reverted to his original position and now says he doesn’t have confidence in Johnson.

Asked about whether the Prime Minister is now safe, he pointed out that Theresa May won her no-confidence vote more convincingly than Boris Johnson did but resigned a few months later.

“It’s not a situation where it’s done and dusted and everyone moves on’’ Ross told The Sunday Show. “Those close to the Prime Minister will have to consider what is best for the country.”

The problem for Douglas Ross and his colleagues is that the handling of partygate and its associated scandals has been so woeful that we’re long past the point where voters are willing to write off Boris Johnson as a bad apple.

They’ve let him fester so long that he’s spoiled the whole barrel.

The best thing for the country would be to throw out the whole lot of them.