Re: The optics don't look good
"A prime minister who has never faced a general election"
The desperate hope that the UK will move to presidential elections doesn't alter the fact we have never had them. It's a media/opposition taunt.
"I don't see Johnson being looked on kindly by history. I would be amazed if he's even PM within a few months."
The UK has spent ~1 year with a deal that UK politicians won't agree to. There is a simple fix - MP's pass a vote of no confidence, take control of the house (again - it's been done already this year), vote to delay leaving (again), ask the EU to delay for an election and go to the people.
This move (an election) is fraught with danger because it will probably result in an outcome. I'm unclear of what that outcome maybe.
As for how Johnson will be judged, that will depend on a lot of things, but action vs May's inaction may provide a way around the current impasse. Personally, I think Corbyn is the one who may come out looking worse - he has controlled the majority opposition party and sat on the fence hoping everyone else would make mistakes he could capitalize on. The mistakes have happened and yet here we are.