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.
Boris Johnson as PM. The future mocks you as it approaches; it's like being run over by a milkfloat as your foot is trapped in the gutter.— Musa Okwonga (@Okwonga) August 6, 2014
Then a pictorial representation.
Some are genuinely afraid.
The genius of Boris Johnson is that everyone tweets about when he got stuck on a zipline, rather than the fact that he's a genuine terror.— Matt Lees (@Jam_sponge) August 6, 2014
Then countless reminders of all the time he said he WOULDN't stand.
What the... Boris Johnson running for MP after promising not to? You mean he lied to people for personal political gain? NO. FU**ING. WAY!!!— Dean Burnett (@garwboy) August 6, 2014
Boris Johnson made a “pledge” in 2012 to serve out his term as Mayor and not run as an MP http://t.co/L72RdY8f0p— Mark Ferguson (@Markfergusonuk) August 6, 2014
11 times Boris Johnson denied he would stand for Parliament in 2015 http://t.co/2DAb0nT7Fy— Luke Lewis (@lukelewis) August 6, 2014
There were some colourful descriptions of his political ability.
Boris Johnson. A blithering Fauntleroy hoisted to national treasuredom via the chairlift of public ignorance.— Sarah Dempster (@Dempster2000) August 6, 2014
Boris Johnson is already a part-time mayor, now will be even more of one. Always cared more about his ambitions than #London's problems.— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) August 6, 2014
Some people though he might be over-stretching himself.
Boris Johnson to run as MP - as well as being Mayor..and columnist and TV pundit..and....etc— Chris Choi (@Chrisitv) August 6, 2014
Boris Johnson may serve as MP and Mayor in 2015. Also, White House rumoured to be vacant in 2016.— Tim Stanley (@timothy_stanley) August 6, 2014
Others that he was simply being greedy.
Boris Johnson, a man who wants to have his cake and eat it, and have all the other cakes, and own the cake factory.— Patrick Strudwick (@PatrickStrud) August 6, 2014
And a reminder of what awaits poor old Dave when he gets back.
By the time David Cameron gets back from holiday, the entire cabinet will have resigned and Boris Johnson will be PM.— Carl Maxim (@carlmaxim) August 6, 2014
But this fella thinks he's got Boris sussed.
Only a matter of time until we discover Boris Johnson is a 12 year old boy who told a fairground fortune teller machine "I want to be big".— Jason (@NickMotown) August 6, 2014