Archive for the 'Boris' Category


Boris might be a CON election winner but it could be that he just gets over-stated in the polls

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Look at what happened with his 2012 election

Hills have cut their odds for Boris Johnson to be the next Prime Minister from 8/1 to 6/1 second favourite behind 4/5 favourite Ed Miliband. This seems weird because just about the only chance there is of a vacancy occurring is if Cameron wins the election when he’ll remain at Number 10.

The mayor’s big opportunity will most likely come if Dave loses or he decides to step down in a few years time. In the case of the former Mr. Miliband would become PM.

There’s another factor that might worry Team Boris – how the polls over-rated his chances, in come cases by big margins, in the last mayoral election.

At the moment this doesn’t matter but you can bet that his opponents will circulate data like in the chart above if there is a leadership contest and Boris runs for the job.

Mike Smithson

Since 2004 – The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Boris, the betting favourite for next CON leader and 2nd favourite for next PM is in danger of falling at the first fence

Friday, September 5th, 2014

Boris’s selection for Uxbridge is not a foregone conclusion

We all know that the main impediment to Boris being Cameron’s successor is that he’s not an MP. That appeared to have been resolved a few weeks ago when he made it clear that he would seek to return to the Commons at GE2015.

Suddenly the London seat of Uxbridge came into the frame and there was a widespread assumption that if Boris wanted the Tory nomination there then he would get it. Indeed at one stage a bookie was offering 50/1 that Boris wouldn’t get it – a bet that, alas, is no longer available.

Today the local party is announcing the names of four people on the shortlist and the Sun reports this morning that one of them, the deputy leader of the council, David Simmonds, could be in with a good chance. The paper quotes what it describes as a “prominent Uxbridge Tory”:

“Boris is not at all a shoe-in and he’s got a real fight on his hands now. David Simmonds is very popular around here, and Uxbridge’s kind of guy. We don’t go in for flashy and we’ve never been interested in celebrated MPs…”

The Conservative party way is that the decision is in the hands of local party members who will vote. Simmonds has, it appears, been regarded as the heir apparent for years and there must be a chance that he’ll get it.

For Boris this would be a huge set-back and could make it harder if he sought another seat.

My view is that the Mayor should put his hat into the ring for the Clacton by-election.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


If Boris is serious about helping his party he’d seek to be the CON candidate in Clacton

Friday, August 29th, 2014

The mayor’s the only one who could stop UKIP in its tracks

One of the big political decisions that the Tories will have to make in the next few weeks is who should be the candidate to fight UKIP defector, Douglas Carswell, in Clacton. The consequences for Cameron’s party of a UKIP victory in the seat are enormous and they have to do everything they can to stop him.

Boris Johnson has decided he wants to return to the commons and is currently trying to secure the Uxbridge nomination. But he would be helping his party far more if he took what would be a massive gamble and made himself available to fight Clacton.

We have seen in two London mayoral races that Boris has the unique appeal to reach out far beyond the Tory party’s traditional supporter base. He’s also the one CON figure who is very popular with UKIP voters.

    A Johnson candidature in Clacton, I’d suggest, would lead to a CON hold and would put him in a far better position to fight for the leadership when the time arose.

I don’t think he will – but who knows with Boris?

Peter Oborne in the Telegraph makes a strong case for Boris to stand.

The day’s big polling news

I’ve put a little bet on at 33/1.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Lord Ashcroft poll on Boris and Uxbridge

Saturday, August 16th, 2014

Lord Ashcroft has polled the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency, about Boris, and it generally makes for great reading for the Mayor of London. The phone poll was conducted this week.

It should be noted, the standard VI poll not mentioning Boris, shows a Con to Lab swing of 5.5%, which would indicate an approximate 3% Labour lead nationwide, which is in line with the national polling.

The one downside for Boris is 50% of the voters don’t want him to be concurrently an MP and Mayor.

Lord Ashcroft notes

The results show Boris’s unique ability both to galvanise Tories and appeal to supporters of other parties. Under the standard voting intention question, 72 per cent of those who voted Conservative in 2010 said they would do so again; with Boris named as the candidate this rose to 79 per cent, with the proportion backing UKIP falling from 18 per cent to 13 per cent. The proportion of 2010 Labour voters switching to the Tories nearly trebled from 6 per cent to 16 per cent, and the numbers switching from the Lib Dems almost doubled from 18 per cent to 35 per cent.

If these figures are indicative of the wider public, then expect Boris to feature very heavily in  the Tory general election campaign, if Tory high command can work out to harness the power of the Mayor of London.



Detailed data from the YouGov/ST polls finds that fewer current CON voters would back party if Boris was leader

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

The mayor attracts votes as well as turning some off

Thanks to George Eaton at the New Statesman for picking this up. A Boris-led Tory party could lead to fewer current CON voters backing the party.

Looking at the detail in the table above we see that there’s a 5% drop amongst current CON supporters with the main beneficiary being the Lib Dems. The big figure, of course, is the 20% of UKIP voters who’d move to a Boris-led CON.

The Westminster Hour The Boris polling item that I was due to be part of has been dropped.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


An inconvenient fact for Boris backers is that more people tell pollsters they’ll support him than actually give him their vote

Friday, August 8th, 2014

Why we should be sceptical about all Boris polling

For those like me who love watching political battles the ongoing tussle for the Tory leadership between Boris Johnson and George Osborne will be a pleasure to behold.

Both have their strong points and both, it is said, have set their hearts on being Dave’s successor. If the Tories don’t hold on in government next May then that intriguing confrontation could be only nine months away.

One factor that apparently is a plus for the mayor is that he polls well – certainty he hammers the Chancellor by big margins whenever comparative questions are asked.

    But looking at what happened the last time that Boris polling was tested in a real election, the 2012 mayoral race, the striking fact is that all pollsters overstated him, some, as the chart shows, by considerable margins

I wonder whether there’s a strong celebrity factor here. Boris gets good poll numbers because of his high level of recognition which when last tested are not backed up by real votes being cast.

There’s likely to be a fair bit of “how would CON do with Boris as leader” polling in the run up to the conferences. Treat the results with a pinch of salt.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Boris playing a full part in the CON GE2015 campaign could help win back some of the kipper defectors

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

The big Tory news today has been the announcement by Boris that he’s to seek a constituency to fight at GE2015 so he can return to the commons.

Back in February YouGov carried out some polling on a Boris and found that 20% of the UKIP voters in that survey said they’d vote CON if Boris was leader.

Of course Boris would not be leader at the time of the general election but he would be much more associated with the blue campaign and, no doubt, would be deployed in seats where a heavy CON to UKIP switch could put the Tories in danger.

But YouGov also found a whole series of negatives in relation to the Mayor. 58% said he’s not be serious enough to be trusted with big national decisions while 44% thought that his prime motivation would be his own image and not the party.

Whatever Boris is now back as strong favourite for the leadership.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble


Why I’m not convinced that Boris will stand for parliament at GE2015

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

His term as Mayor ends in May 2016, then there might be a move

The timing of the London Mayoral terms was always going to be a problem for Boris assuming that he wants to get back to the Commons and, possibly, run for the leadership when a vacancy comes up.

The general election is in May 2015 – the Boris term ends in May 2016.

He could conceivably twin-track – being London Mayor and an MP for a year but that could get very messy and some of the previous statements he’s made on the issue might be difficult to square.

Standing down as mayor a year early is a possibility. This would trigger a by-election to be held amoungst 6 million Londoners. It would cost several million pounds to stage and he’d be accused of wasting public money to futher his own career ambitions.

There would also be the danger in a mayoral by-election of the Tories losing – not something that the blues would like.

Mike Smithson

2004-2014: The view from OUTSIDE the Westminster bubble