A pint with Boris, but Dave for babysitter

William JordanUS Elections Editor
October 02, 2014, 1:42 PM GMT+0

On the classic question of personal appeal, Boris tops other prominent politicians by a wide margin – but people would rather leave David Cameron in charge of their children

Who would you rather have beer with? The question is used in American politics as a proxy for asking who is more likeable and relatable – and therefore, folk wisdom says, more electable.

The answer to this question in Britain appears to be an easy one: London Mayor Boris Johnson. Presented with a list of nine prominent UK politicians, including four current party leaders and several potential future ones, the Conservative politician comes out 18 points ahead of everyone else. Respondents were allowed to tick multiple options, and 40% picked Boris. Tellingly, the next most popular option was technically “None of these”, at 35%.

Among actual people, Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader often photographed with a pint of bitter in hand, comes a distant second.

Boris also wins across many demographics – age, gender, social grade and region. He comes first among Conservative voters (with a 27-point lead over David Cameron) and Labour voters (albeit with a narrower three-point lead over Ed Miliband).

Of course, relatability isn’t everything. YouGov also asked a version of the “beer” question as a head-to-head with David Cameron, along with some other similar questions. While Boris is widely preferred for a drink and seen to be more in touch, voters tend to say Cameron would make a better CEO – and a better babysitter.