'Buffoon' Leads Incumbent in Race for London Mayor

Boris Johnson holds slight lead for most important elected office in UK
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2008 10:11 AM CDT
Conservative MP Boris Johnson arrives outside City Hall in London, Monday July 16, 2007, to launch his campaign as a candidate to be the Mayor of the city.   (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
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(Newser) – The two leading candidates for mayor of London, Britain's most important elected office, are locked in a neck-and-neck race, according to a new Guardian poll. Ken Livingstone, the fiery Labour incumbent and sworn enemy of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, is now running just behind the Conservative challenger: MP Boris Johnson, a former mag editor and self-declared "blithering buffoon."

A New York Times profile this week called the blond-haired Johnson "some kind of hyper-articulate Labrador," but somehow he has convinced Londoners that he might make a good mayor after all. Despite his baroque oratorical style and "habit of bumbling into humiliating scrapes," Johnson now holds a 51-49 edge over Livingstone.