Boris is too scared to take on Ukip

There’s no way he will choose to stand in a seat where we are strong

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The Independent Online

I am sure the media were delighted this week when Boris Johnson announced that he would be standing for Parliament in 2015, given that they are faced with some quite remarkably dull political leaders limply slogging it out for victory. Boris will provide some much needed dynamism, particularly in Uxbridge and South Ruislip, where I am sure he will stand.

The Ukip candidate there is a member of Young Independence, Jack Duffin. He will be keen that there are hustings held in the constituency, giving him a chance to expose Boris’s awkward position on the EU, for one. On one hand, the London Mayor told an audience this week that we “shouldn’t fear leaving the EU” (quite right, we should have a huge party to celebrate our freedom and future opportunities) but, of course, he must not seem to be far removed from David Cameron’s own position of staying firmly entrenched in the backward-looking political bloc.

I’ve no doubt that Boris will be positioning himself as an alternative leader to Cameron who, in his smooth, privileged Eton way, can’t imagine why people wouldn’t vote for him. And although Labour see this election as theirs to lose and Ed Miliband a virtual certainty to take up residence in Downing Street, I am convinced they will get a shock when the time comes.

There’s no way Boris will choose to stand in a seat where Ukip is strong. We saw from his speech that he is trying to woo Ukip voters who the Tory party thinks must have all previously been true-blue Tories. The fact is that as popular as he is, as funny and charismatic, Boris can’t afford to feel the impact of an unpopular coalition government or an ever-rising purple tide.