Politics

Boris And Coe Bask In Olympic Glory, As Cameron And Clegg Leave For Spain

Boris Johnson and Lord Coe spent Monday basking in success of the Olympic Games, prompting questions over the political future of the pair, as a poll revealed most voters think David Cameron and Nick Clegg's coalition will fall apart by 2015.

As the prime minister and his deputy left the UK for holidays in Spain, the mayor of London and the chairman of the Olympic organising committee continued to hold onto the limelight at a press conference on Monday morning.

Boris praised the volunteers, the police and the army for ensuring the Games passed off without incident, highlighting 5% drop in crime during the 16 day Olympics.

The sight of the two men sat together prompted questions about whether reporters were seeing the "next prime minister and mayor of London".

During the course of the Games there has been increased speculation that Boris could return to parliament in order to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party. While Lord Coe, a Tory peer and former MP, has been touted as a possible replacement for Boris.

Boris said he could "rule out the first" part of the question and Lord Coe said he could "certainly rule out the second".

However their denials are unlikely to stop the speculation in Westminster and City Hall.

Lord Coe said: "I enjoyed my time in politics, I worked for a wonderful man who is now our foreign secretary."

"Politics left me in a very big way in 1997," he added.

But Boris seemed more keen to see Lord Coe return to elected life. "You'll be back," he declared.

Lord Coe served as the MP for Falmouth and Camborne between 1992 and 1997 before losing his seat in the Labour landslide. After being appointed a life peer in 2000 he served as chief of staff to William Hague, the then leader of the Tory party.

The mayor, clearly enjoying the moment, was also easily persuaded to perform Mo Farah's victory 'MoBot' celebration.

The speculation about Boris and Lord Coe's future careers came as a poll by ICM for the Guardian showed only one in six voters believe the coalition government will survive until the 2015 general election.

The survey suggests last week's falling out between the Tories and Lib Dems over Lords reform and the boundary review has seriously dented the public's confidence in their ability to work together.

Of those asked only 16% thought the government would make it to 2015, compared to the 33% who thought it would when asked just two weeks ago.

By contrast bookmakers William Hill have shortened the odds of Boris succeeding Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party from 4/1 to 3/1.

Boris has proved effectively invulnerable to criticism during the Games, with incidents that would floor most politicians, such as getting stuck on a zip-wire, only appearing to add to his aura.

His Games got off to a good start after he managed to whip-up a 60,000 crowd in Hyde Park in such a way that they began chanting his name - a response that most politicians, Cameron included, could not even dream of.

However despite Boris' apparent popularity, some, including the mayor himself, have questioned whether voters would take him seriously enough to elect him as prime minister.