It certainly has been an extra-ordinary year for Boris, from winning re-election as Mayor of London, in what is supposedly a Labour city, whilst belonging to a party, that as a government had just delivered a double dip recession.
Winning allowed him to be Mayor during the Olympics, where he mocked Mitt Romney, to the adulation of many, and he was associated with the feel good factor that the Olympics brought, so much so, he upstaged The Prime Minister.
This led to, polling which showed Boris as Tory Leader would wipe away Labour’s lead, that he is Britain’s most respected politician, and being mobbed on his arrival in Birmingham for the Tory conference, where he gave a speech that went down well with the faithful.
However, as with a lot of Tory politicians, Europe caused him problems.
At the end of November, he committed heresy in the eyes of Eurosceptics when he rejected necessity for in/out referendum vote on EU, but a few weeks later, when he said an EU referendum before 2015 would be ‘fantastic’, David Cameron should call a referendum on Britain’s EU membership before the next election and be prepared to walk away from Brussels.
2013, with a lack of a Mayoral election, and Olympics, would seem to restrict Boris’ visibility and opportunities to be popular on the national stage, he may have to do something spectacular to be noticed/maintain his popularity.
So what could he do in 2013, to maintain his popularity and visibility?
Perhaps he could be more voluble on the referendum (who knows, even pre-empt and outshine the Prime Minister’s upcoming speech on Europe) or re-enter Parliament, despite promising to serve a full second term.
Earlier on this year, there were stories, that Zac Goldsmith may trigger a by-election, to allow Boris to return to the Commons, and only this week there was speculation that several Conservative MPs in safe seats are prepared to resign and allow Boris Johnson to return to the Commons within weeks of the next general election.
Those of us who have read Andrew Gimson’s biography of Boris, know he is very ambitious, and has a history of breaking promises to meet his political ambitions.
Johnson’s idiosyncratic but lively journalism propelled him into the editor’s chair of The Spectator and he was brilliant.
Promising not to stand for Parliament, Boris went away and was elected for Henley.
Ladbrokes have a market up on Boris’ future.
At the time of writing, the odds were
- To serve full second term as Mayor 1/3
- Not to serve full second term as Mayor 2/1
- To become a Westminster MP before next general election 3/1
- To serve a full term as Mayor of London 2/7
- To be elected Mayor of London again in 2016 2/1
- Not to serve a full term as Mayor of London 5/2
- To be Prime Minister within 10 years (end of 2022) 6/1