The Boris bounce: Olympics boost BoJo's leadership hopes

The London Mayor is more popular than David Cameron, says poll

Boris Johnson's hopes of becoming Conservative Party leader have received another boost as new polling shows he is much more popular than David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband.

Click HERE to view graphic

A survey by YouGov found that the Conservative Mayor of London outscores the three main party leaders on charisma; sticking to what he believes in and being strong; being in touch with ordinary people's concerns; honesty; being a natural leader; and being decisive and good in a crisis.

Although the "Boris bounce" from the Olympics and Paralympics may not be sustained, the figures will encourage the Mayor's growing band of admirers on the Tory backbenches. Few allies expect him to succeed Mr Cameron before the 2015 election but they are determined that he will return to the Commons at that election so he could stand for the Tory leadership if the party fails to win an overall majority.

YouGov found striking evidence that Tory prospects would be enhanced with Mr Johnson as leader. With Mr Cameron at the helm, Labour would win a majority of 92 seats today.

But if the London Mayor led his party, Labour's majority would be cut to only eight seats – almost a hung parliament. Under Mr Johnson, the Tories would win 1.5 million more votes than under Mr Cameron, saving two-thirds of the seats they would lose otherwise.

Mr Johnson's lead over Mr Cameron is biggest in London. But, significantly, he would also improve Tory prospects in the Midlands and the North, the areas with the marginal seats likely to decide the next election, and the rest of the South. This finding will undermine the argument of the Mayor's critics, who claim he would have little appeal "north of Watford".

"The Boris bounce is simply enormous," said Peter Kellner, YouGov's president. "He is Britain's Heineken politician: refreshing parts of the public that other politicians can't reach. Even if his popularity doesn't last, it poses an awkward challenge not just to Cameron, but to Clegg and Miliband too."

But Mr Kellner conceded that the polling figures were only a "snapshot" and did not predict how the Mayor would be viewed next year or in 2015. "Were he to return to the House of Commons and face critical examination of his national policies, voters' views might change," he said. "A mayor basking jovially in the reflected glory of the Olympics might be regarded in a different light from a national leader seeking to have his finger on the nuclear trigger."

Cameron allies play down any threat to his leadership from Mr Johnson, with some suggesting that Tory MPs will become fed up with his "manoeuvring" if he does not "put up or shut up". There is frustration that the Mayor appeared to upstage the Prime Minister at some events at the Games and reaped the most benefit from the "feel-good factor" they created. Some Cameron aides have hinted that the Mayor will receive a lukewarm response when he asks the Government for money to support his pet projects for the capital.

Mr Johnson has consistently denied planning a return to Westminster, where he was an MP from 2001 to 2008. He insists he will serve a full four-year term as Mayor to 2016.

But his supporters on the Tory benches believe he will find a safe seat in the run-up to the 2015 election and serve as both an MP and Mayor for 12 months.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

KS1 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Supply Teacher re...

KS2 Teaching Supply Wakefield

£140 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS2 Supply Teacher r...

Year 1/2 Teacher

£130 - £160 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1 Teacher required,...

Primary Teachers Needed for Supply in Wakefield

£140 - £160 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Qualified KS1&2 Supply Te...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam