Boris Johnson has been in the headlines a lot recently. Now that he’s become mayor of London he has resigned his position as Tory MP for Henley-on- Thames.

But Henley wasn’t Mr Johnson’s first choice constituency – he wanted to be the Tory MP here for Rayleigh – but the local Tories chose Mark Francois instead.

If they had chosen Boris Johnson for Rayleigh:-

  • A fair number of Londoners would have been reading onlineFOCUS in the past few months to see what we said about him…
  • We would have a by-election in Rayleigh riight now, because Boris Johnson would have resigned his seat. Everybody in Rayleigh would be being canvassed and there would be election leaflets all over the place. Onlinefocus would be in overdrive.
  • David Cameron would be buying a kebab and going bowling in Hockley. Nick Clegg would be at the West Rayleigh Sewage Works with Ron Oatham. David Millliband would be feeding the swans at Hullbridge with Angelina Marriott. There would have been 15 Lib Dem activists crammed into Chris Black’s lounge last night watching Doctor Who.
  • All the coffee shops in Rayleigh would be packed with journalists and the Rayleigh Conservative Club would have to order extra beer.
  • Probably one of the local Tory Councillors would be standing here as the new Tory candidate.
  • Mark Francois might well be the MP for Henley
  • Incidentally the Lib Dem candidate in Henley, Stephen Kearney, seems to have some genuinely interesting ideas. This piece here about his approach to politics is worth reading for anyone who wants to be a councillor or an MP.

    And if you are a council officer reading us here, you might be interested to look at the Henley Acting Returning Officers own blog!


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  • Feeding the swans with David Miliband, now there’s a thought.

    There is also the fact that Mark Francois did once stand against Ken Livingstone in 1997. What if he had fancied a re match then the by election you desribe would also of happened.

    Unless you think that Boris got in by being Boris. That would be a whole new debate.

  • Hi Chris,

    Do you really think that the local tories would have picked one of their local councillors to represent them?

    If you do, I would love to hear who you think that they would have picked

  • Well, as a bit of fun …..

    In the real world, the Conservatives have picked an Oxfordshire County Councillor and County Cabinet member for the Henley seat. On that basis, Stephen Castle would be the political insider here who would get the nomination…..

    But Jeremy Thomass particularly has the intellect, and Simon Smith and Lesley Butcher particularly have good backgrounds to be an MP…. and there are others…

  • Another if: What if Mark Francois had of decided to do a David Davis over Europe?

    Btw I think that the decision of the Irish should be respected.

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