UK & World News
Boris 'Would Win 2015 Target Seat For Tories'
More than half of voters in an area seen as a prime target for Boris Johnson would vote for him if he stood there in 2015, a poll has found.
A survey in the Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency suggests the London Mayor could add 10% to the Conservative party's share of the vote if he stood there.
The poll of 1,000 people in the seat being vacated by former deputy chief whip John Randall was carried out by prominent Tory donor Lord Ashcroft.
Mr Randall held the seat with a 11,216 majority in 2010, making in an attractive option that would allow Mr Johnson to capitalise on his popularity with Londoners.
The former MP for Henley has remained tight-lipped about his preference for a seat since announcing that "in all probability" he would try to find somewhere to stand in next year's General Election.
The deadline for would-be candidates to submit their application to the local party is August 28.
When asked who they planned to vote for, 42% of those in the west London constituency said Conservative, 28% Labour and 19% UKIP.
But when offered Mr Johnson as their candidate, the Tory vote rose to 52%, with Labour and UKIP dropping to 23% and 16% respectively.
Tory donor Lord Ashcroft said Mr Johnson had a "unique ability both to galvanise Tories and appeal to supporters of other parties".
The assertion was backed up by 53% of those polled agreeing that Mr Johnson was "different to most politicians, and in a good way".
Only 7% said he was different "but in a bad way".
Mr Johnson has vowed to combine the jobs of MP and Mayor for the last year of his term at London's City Hall if returned to the Commons - but a third of those who backed him in the poll said they would like to see him quit his current post if elected.
Since his announcement earlier his month, Mr Johnson has been installed as favourite to succeed David Cameron as party leader if the Tories fail to win the election or the PM steps down.
He remains behind David Cameron in terms of who would make the best prime minister by 36% to 33% - but well ahead of Ed Miliband on 19% and Nick Clegg on 10%.