Boris Johnson has announced he is standing as an MP, but said he doesn’t know which seat he’ll go for.
Here are some good reasons why he might be heading for a little-known corner of outer west London: Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
1. His old seat of Henley is very much taken.
The London mayor used to represent the seat of Henley, a town on the Thames famous for its annual rowing event. Some people have suggested he might return to his old haunt.
But this wouldn’t go down well at all with the current Tory MP in the seat, who has no intentions of stepping aside. According to the BBC, John Howell, who was only elected in 2008, has been “furious” at any suggestion that he’d make way for Johnson. Better look somewhere else.
2. The current MP for Uxbridge is standing down, so the seat is vacant.
Conservative MP John Randall, who has represented Uxbridge and South Ruislip since its creation in 2010, has said he would stand down in 2015.
That leaves space for Johnson to move in without having to tread on any toes.
3. Uxbridge and South Ruislip is in west London.
A lot of people in west London really dislike the idea of expanding Heathrow, an idea Johnson has made a big deal about opposing.
Johnson’s plan for an airport in the Thames estuary, dubbed “Boris Island”, has been derided as a harebrained scheme by quite a few people, but politically allows him to say he’s in favour of increasing airport capacity while opposing Heathrow expansion.
Coincidentally, this stance would go down well with the residents of Uxbridge.
4. Uxbridge is a pretty safe Conservative seat.
If Johnson has ambitions to lead his party, he’s going to need a safe seat. Nationally renowned politicians can face periods of unpopularity (to say the least), and opposition parties have been known to throw everything they’ve got at top-ranking politicians in marginal constituencies in the hope of “decapitating” a party.
Uxbridge and South Ruislip fits this profile, with a Conservative majority of over 10,000.
5. Uxbridge and South Ruislip is in outer London.
If Johnson is going to stay as mayor of London until 2016, his seat will probably have to be in London, or he will open himself up to a lot of criticism. Most safe Tory seats in London are in outer London.
There aren’t many Tory MPs in safe seats around the capital standing down at the next election. Croydon South would have fitted the bill, but has already selected its next Tory candidate. That narrows it down.
6. The bookies think he’s going to stand in Uxbridge and South Ruislip.
OK, it’s not exactly hard evidence, but definitely worth pointing out: The most likely odds, according to Ladbrokes, were that Johnson wouldn’t stand.
Now that option is probably not going to happen, the bookmaker reckons he’s most likely to stand in Uxbridge.