Monday, August 06, 2012

Boris will not run for Louise Mensch's seat

Good luck to Louise Mensch as she heads to New York to live with her new husband.

It didn't take long for Political Betting to kick off the speculation that Boris Johnson will fight this highly marginal seat for the Tories.

I don't think he will, however, for three main reasons.

First, he's only just been re-elected as London Mayor. Technically, he could do both jobs, but in a highly marginal seat, which he'd have to defend on new boundaries before the next mayoral election in 2016, this would be a huge issue. "Two Jobs Boris" would be on the front of every opposition leaflet. His charm and popularity would not be enough to counter that.

If he did resign as London Mayor should he be elected in Corby, the Tories are not, shall we say, the favourites for the mayoral by-election.

And if he resigned as mayor to fight the by-election, he could well end up with nothing.

Second, if he has leadership aspirations for the future, the very last thing he'd want to do is contest a highly marginal seat that's changed hands twice in five elections. He'll be after a safe seat - maybe Rifkind's when he retires, which must be in 2015, surely?

Thirdly, I suspect he is the very last person David Cameron wants to see back in the House of Commons. The "Boris for leader?" speculation is bad enough when he's not even in Parliament. It would seriously undermine the Prime Minister if Boris were actually eligible to depose him. Every single political journalist would be talking about it every single day.

I may well be proved wrong, but I just can't see Boris as candidate. And given that Sebastian Coe can't resign from the Lords, it won't be him either.

I expect that both parties will try to find someone who has some connection with the Games to be their candidate. Wonder what Labour supporter Danny Boyle's plans are for the next wee while....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My money's on Sir David Beckham.


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