Johnson backed to take on Cameron’s Conservative hot seat
To the public Boris Johnson represents the self-styled king of political comedy – a well-dressed bumbling mess of big hair and witty asides – but to those behind the scenes at Westminster, he’s fast becoming the number one candidate to take the Conservative Party forward.
Coming off the back of an era of dour non-leaders like William Hague and Michael Howard, current Prime Minister David Cameron was a breath of fresh air – coming across as a Tory-fied version of Tony Blair, though the distinctions between the two are hard to find.
When Cameron finally departs office the Conservative Party are likely to be in far better shape than when he arrived – they may even win a General Election in the meantime, for instance.
And while the Aston Villa-supporting PM will take the plaudits, a portion of the Tory success must surely be attributed to Johnson, who has managed to turn a series of media gaffes into positive PR.
Whether it’s struggling with autocue on Have I Got News For You, appearing in cringe-inducing interviews at party conferences alongside Jeremy Paxman, or getting stuck on a specially-made zip wire ahead of the Olympics, Boris can do no wrong.
Which is remarkable really, when you consider the scandals that engulfed him as a minister, with Johnson involved in an extra-marital affair during his time in office as well as courting controversy with a series of highly-dubious comments about a perceived ‘victim culture’ in Liverpool.
Public sentiment remains unwavering, however, with the support of the people sweeping Boris to victory in two London Mayoral elections – despite his seemingly poor record on issues like housing in the capital.
As such, the Conservative Party will be all too aware of the opportunity that will present itself to them once David Cameron steps aside.
Install Johnson as leader and politics as we know it could take a new turn – whether it is a step forwards or backwards remains to be seen.
For now though, the bumbling London Mayor can be backed at 4/1 to be the next Tory leader, ahead of the deeply unpopular George Osborne – the only man to be booed at the London Olympics – who is on at 5/1.
He may appear a fool, but for those all too aware of the game Johnson is playing, the time to back the blonde-haired stereotype of old-school Conservative ideals to be the next leader is most certainly now.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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