We all want to know one important question when it comes to Boris Johnson, will he be the next PM? At the thought of Boris as a serious candidate, the face of Labour is slowing showing anxiety instead of a smirk, and they might have good reason to do so.
Boris has incredible popularity. One of a small number of politicians to be known just by his first name, his charisma and likability have turned him into a political phenomenon. Labour has been recently warned by its seniors to take him seriously, and I think we should too. His endless list of gaffes would normally weld an iron coffin shut for most politicians.
However it seems it’s his skin, rather than his coffin, that’s made of a hard metal, as he manages to effortlessly shrug off any buffoonery to extend his growing popularity. His charm has no fault, but more importantly, does he have substance?
That is the unknown when it comes to Boris. We need to look ahead to the time when we’ve finished bathing in the afterglow of the Olympics and when we’ve forgotten the success of the cycle-hire programme. Is there another great tangible victory up the Mayor’s sleeve? Quite possibly.
The successes seem to aid Boris more than the gaffes obstruct. If he gets it right this Mayoral term, I think he may just persuade us he has what it takes to lead the country and tackle the economy with competence. Boris has shown refreshing honesty and reasonableness on issues such as economic growth, the Eurozone and the third runway at Heathrow and the more I look at Boris in depth, the more I see a serious candidate for the next election.
Don’t forget the final hurdle for Boris: opposition. David Cameron and Ed Miliband shouldn’t be written off. Miliband’s not as popular as his party, but the Labour conference this week suggests he’s getting the hang of things.
Cameron’s caught in a bear trap, desperately needing to chew off the Osborne leg if he has a chance in surviving the next election, but he won’t step aside for the Mayor. I think there’s no doubt Boris has a long way to go, he’s not even an MP yet, but he has what it takes, and if the opposition doesn’t treat him seriously now, it’ll be too late for them to pick up the pieces afterwards.