Head boy at Eton, President of the Oxford Student Union, editor of The Spectator and the current of Mayor of London. Boris Johnson’s CV is pretty impressive and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom seems to almost add itself to the end of the list effortlessly.
Success and adoration appear to follow Boris wherever he goes. Loved by the public, the son of former Conservative MEP Stanley Johnson is arguably the most popular politician in the UK and despite his party’s struggles managed to secure a second term as Mayor of London by beating Ken Livingstone in 2012. His position at the moment is in many respects an audition for the job many say he really wants. And as frightening as it may be, it couldn’t be going any better.

Just picture the scenes for the moment, the blonde hair waving ferociously in the wind on the steps of Downing Street as Johnson walks through the famous black door or Mr Johnson stumbling outside the White House as he greets the President of the United States. He would be the representative of the United Kingdom on the world scene, and our Boris, the man who got stuck on a zip line, would have power and control over the nuclear button. A terrifying thought don’t you think?

In 2008 when Boris stood to be the Mayor of London, he was not by any means the household name he is today. Resigning from his post as shadow minister for higher education, the then 44 year old Johnson had his political career hanging by a shoe string. After a succession of affairs and public scandals, his public image should have been in tatters, but the Boris charm had somehow kept him afloat. He’d been sacked from Michael Howard’s shadow cabinet for his misdemeanours and Cameron backing him as the candidate for the Mayor of London position gave him the opportunity to really push his career forward and enter the limelight.

Boris hasn’t looked back since and has become a thorn in the Prime Minister’s backside. His wit and showmanship was shown at the recent Conservative party conference as he received a more positive reception than the current PM. Boris had the crowd in rapturous laughter as he kid ‘where is Dave?’ The camera then shot to a grimacing David Cameron, who grit his teeth and shone a fake smile to all those who were watching, but regardless of whether or not it was a joke, the point still stood. Where is David Cameron and can he cope with the celebrity appeal of Boris? As the Mayor’s popularity grows both within the party and nationally, Cameron is struggling. His party is bickering over Europe, his leadership is being questioned by rebellious backbenchers on a regular basis, many of whom are already citing Johnson as his replacement and opinions polls suggest that the PM is quite a way behind Ed Miliband.

Cameron’s relationship with Boris is complex and goes back to the playing fields at Eton. Boris’s sister Rachel claims that Cameron psychologically still looks up to Boris as if he were head boy as they argue and bicker about policy, something Boris vehemently denies. The appointment of his brother Jo Johnson as Cameron’s head of policy was a meticulous move from Cameron as he attempts to capitalise on the Johnson popularity. Cameron knows that might be his best bet in fighting against a potential future rival. The only way to beat a Johnson might be to use a Johnson.

So how likely is Boris to make a move for number 10? He has spoken of the possibility in the past saying, “Obviously, if the ball came loose from the back of a scrum – which it won’t – it would be a great, great thing to have a crack at.” He is adamant however that he will finish his second term as Mayor, which will come to an end in 2016. With the next general election in 2015, that could leave Johnson with a difficult decision and may lead to him returning to the commons while simultaneously continuing on as Mayor.

When rumours arose about Zach Goldsmith resigning his seat last year in protest over Heathrow expansion, allowing Boris a route back into the commons to challenge Cameron, the Johnson party were slow to react. It seemed like a viable time for Johnson to swoop in and cause serious issues for the PM but he chose not to. Interestingly enough, there has since been confirmation that the meeting between Goldsmith and Johnson did take place, which shows us Boris’s real intent. It does however appear that the Mayor is backing Cameron all the way and I would go as far as saying, he would not challenge his fellow Bullingdon club member unless he lost a general election.

He’s an incredibly ambitious man and a political genius. His ability to use humour to divert away from any tricky situation is a powerful weapon and is deployed to devastating effect. The facade of him being ‘dopey’ is slowly beginning to fall as the truth hits home that he is in fact an incredible politician. Whether you are right leaning or left leaning, everyone loves Boris and not many are able to detach themselves from their party in this way and have their own unique identity. He has the one thing all politicians dream of, the likability factor.

Boris is biding his time before he makes his move, he knows that timing is key and under no circumstance will he make a rash decision. He’s more than aware that he is his party’s favourite to be the next leader and I can’t see anyone daring to attempt to stand in his way if he chooses to stand. If Cameron fails to win a majority in 2015, expect to see Boris as leader of the party relatively soon after and dare I say it, expect to see him in Downing Street too.

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