London Mayor Appears Set for Re-Election, Party Leadership
He’s barrel-shaped and middle-aged, with flapping tie and a hairdo like a mop. But when he popped by a gritty south London neighborhood recently, Mayor Boris Johnson was treated like a rock star.
An excited crowd gathered at Croydon College, where the mayor opened a new wing. Teen-aged students and graying school officials alike clamored to have their photos taken with him. Passersby waved and shouted “Hey, Boris!”
“He’s got charisma,” said school official Diane Palmer, a Boris supporter. “He’s not your normal politician.”
Despite a reputation as an upper-class, Latin-spouting twit, Johnson is poised to win re-election Thursday, according to polls. Victory would cement his status as one of the most popular Conservative Party politicians in Britain - and a potentially formidable contender for the prime minister’s job.