Boris for PM: Could the 'affably eccentric' London Mayor lead this country?

Candidate: Boris Johnson is seen as a leading candidate to challenge David Cameron at the top of the Tory party (PA)

Boris Johnson's admission that he would want to 'have a crack' at becoming prime minister has got the political world talking about his credentials as leader of the government.

The London Mayor confessed in an interview that he would like to be prime minister 'if the ball came loose in the scrum', but insisted 'it's not going to happen'.

Experts said today that although Mr Johnson has a lot of public support thanks to his 'honesty and affable eccentricity', he may not be the ideal candidate for the top job in British politics.

He may have the 'key quality of being someone the public want to see more of', but some say Mayor Johnson would make a better leader of the opposition that leader of the country.

Ian Dunt, editor of, said: "If David Cameron fails to keep the Conservatives in power in 2015, Boris Johnson would be the main competitor against his leadership.

"In that situation, it's hard to imagine Boris Johnson going for the Conservative leadership and not getting it. The party loves him and the public loves him.

"It's his affable eccentricity. The public consider him a real person, and he has the key quality that people want to see more of him - and there isn't a single other politician you can say that about in this country.

"Boris Johnson would make an exceptionally good leader of the opposition, but not necessarily as Prime Minister."

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Mr Johnson's perceived 'buffoonishness' - namely occasions where he been caught hanging from zip wires or other such PR disasters - are part of the reason he is not seen as 'statesmanlike' enough for the top job.

But body language expert Judi James says Mr Johnson's eccentricity is part of the reason the public have warmed to him.

She told Yahoo! News: "We are force-fed these body language signals by politicians who give messages that want us to hear, but Boris Johnson dosn't look particularly media-trained.

"He will ruffle his own hair, which is often quite messy, chew on his pen, or use 'ums' and 'aahs', which people are told not to do when they speak publicly.

"Because of all these mistakes, we tend to believe he is more spontaneous and speaks his mind, which we associate with honesty.

"Even if we don't like these traits we at least feel like he's being himself.

"He is described as a buffoon, but he takes it to such an extreme that people actually see him as highly intellectual.

"There is a kind of reverse psychology to it, so even that works in his favour."

It is argued however, that Johnson's affable nature is the exact quality which could stop him becoming PM.

Judi James added: "The public like him, but do they like him in the right way for him to be Prime Minister?

"The public don't want to love their Prime Minister - Margaret Thatcher once said she didn't want to be liked, just respected - and Boris Johnson should take heed of that."