Boris for Mayor?

It’s shaping up to be a vintage few months in national politics, what with the ‘will he, won’t he’ speculation over Gordon Brown’s timing of the general election, and today’s news that bicycling bumbler Boris Johnson will be taking on Ken ‘The newt fancier’s newt fancier’ Livingstone in the ballot for Mayor of London next April.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010
Boris’s demolition of his opponents for the Tory candidateship – he took 15,661 votes, compared to 1,869 for runner-up Victoria Borwick – will ensure that whatever the eventual outcome, the Mayoral election should be one of the most entertaining and closely fought campaigns we have seen for years. Even though the majority of the UK population won’t have a vote to allocate, the prospect of these two colourful opposites slugging it out on the hustings will guarantee national coverage.

As to who will prove most popular with businesses, it’s a tough call. Ken is a man who provokes strong love or hate reactions, so despite his often controversial policies his existing support will be hard to dent. Exactly what Boris’s views on business – or indeed on much else to do with running the capital – are is hard to say, but he is likely to prove hugely popular with the chatterati and is strongly placed to harness the growing anti-Ken backlash. If significant numbers of people who didn’t vote at all in the first election can be persuaded to go out and put a cross in Boris’s box he could do very well, indeed. Watch this space.

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