Boris Johnson: the best of the mavericks

December 10, 2014, 5:30 PM GMT+0

Boris Johnson is seen as more able and likeable than Alex Salmond and Nigel Farage

Alex Salmond announced that he would run for Parliament in 2015 at the weekend, in a bid to make good his failed 2010 promise that the “Commons will be hung by Scottish rope”. The ex-First Minister for Scotland hopes bargaining power in any future coalition will dissuade Scots from seeing the SNP as a wasted vote, safe in the knowledge that Labour may exchange concessions in Scotland for support in Westminster.

Salmond joins UKIP’s Nigel Farage and the Tories’ Boris Johnson as the latest in line for a new intake of mavericks in 2015.

New YouGov research finds that Alex Salmond is nearly seen as an equally capable politician to Boris Johnson, with 24% saying so compared to 29% for the current London Mayor. But Mr Johnson is by far the more likeable person, according to British people, on 47% compared to Salmond’s 11%.

The much-hyped Nigel Farage is seen by few (14%) as the most capable politician, but is favoured as the most likeable by almost as many (10%) as Alex Salmond.


With YouGov’s recent polls showing a near-dead heat between the Conservatives and Labour, at the same time as incumbency and the rise of other parties distort their dominance, another coalition government looks likely. British people are highly aware of this: 60% see it as the most probable outcome.

In the event that Labour get the most MPs, but not enough to form a majority government, Labour voters slightly prefer a partnership with the SNP (37%) over the Liberal Democrats (32%). Among those who voted Labour in 2010, the preference is stronger: 36% would favour an SNP-Labour coalition, 29% a coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

Nick Clegg’s party look set to lose MPs in 2015, but the incumbency advantage and their expertise in local campaigning could still hand them bargaining power in coalition negotiations. If neither Labour nor the Conservatives won a majority and relied on the Liberal Democrats to form a government, 40% predict the Lib Dems to partner with Labour. 28% expect them to continue governing with the Conservatives.

See the full poll results