POLITICS

Boris Johnson Gets Early Backing From London Constituency

16/08/2014 13:12 BST | Updated 16/08/2014 13:59 BST
Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Mayor of London Boris Johnson speaks to the media in central London, during the launch of the Metropolitan Police Impact Zone Team for London's West End.

More than half of voters in a London constituency seen as a prime target for Boris Johnson would vote for him if he chose to stand there in 2015, according to a poll because he's "different to most politicians, and in a good way."

In news that surprised approximately no one, the London Mayor announced earlier this month that he intends to stand as an MP in 2015.

A survey conducted in Uxbridge and South Ruislip after Boris finally confirmed his desire to return to the Commons showed he could significantly boost Tory support.

But a third of those who backed the colourful Conservative also said he should quit City Hall if elected - despite Mr Johnson insisting he could see out the final year of his term.

The poll of 1,000 people in the seat being vacated by former deputy chief whip John Randall was carried out for Tory donor and former party vice chairman Lord Ashcroft.

Mr Randall held the seat with a majority of 11,216 at the last general election, making it a plum target for Mr Johnson, who has remained tight lipped about his preference.

The deadline for applications to the local party is August 28.

Lord Ashcroft said that when asked generally about their 2015 intentions, 42% of voters said Conservative, 28% Labour and 19% Ukip.

But when they were faced with the prospect of Boris being the candidate, the Tory share rose to 52%, with Labour down five to 23% and Ukip down three to 16%.

The peer accepted that the figures would be different if other parties put up a high-profile challenger but said Mr Johnson had a "unique ability both to galvanise Tories and appeal to supporters of other parties".

More than half (53%) said he was "different to most politicians, and in a good way" compared with only 7% saying he was different "but in a bad way".

Voters overall were evenly split on whether he should continue as mayor until 2016 if elected as an MP.

Boris last week declared his intention to stand for Parliament at next year's general election, finally putting an end to months of speculation about his ambitions for a return to Westminster.

It immediately raised the prospect that he could emerge as a rival for the Conservative leadership if the party is defeated - or again fails to secure an overall Commons majority - at the polls.

He remains behind David Cameron in terms of who would make the best prime minister by 36% to 33% - but well ahead of Ed Miliband on 19% and Nick Clegg on 10%.

The news of Boris' Prime Ministerial aspirations was met on social media with a mixture of... well, it wasn't a theme of over-riding positivity.

First there was a brief summary of the doom some felt.

Then a pictorial representation.

Some are genuinely afraid.

Then countless reminders of all the time he said he WOULDN't stand.

There were some colourful descriptions of his political ability.

Some people though he might be over-stretching himself.

Others that he was simply being greedy.

And a reminder of what awaits poor old Dave when he gets back.

But this fella thinks he's got Boris sussed.