Boris Johnson was on loyal form tonight at the Conservative Home rally. He told the audience that the Tory advantage on leadership and the economy would see voters coming over to the party ‘in droves’. He even predicted a 1983 style win for the Tories—which considering that the Tory majority then was 144 seemed more than a little bit over optimistic.
The Mayor of London was so in sync with the leadership’s strategy that he even moved straight from Europe to English votes for English laws, the issue that Cameron and co believe can stop the bleeding to Ukip.
There were, though, perhaps a few markers laid down for the future. He emphasised that the Conservative family had to be reunited, though he suggested this should be done simply by Ukip people joining the Tories. He indicated that he favoured a limit on EU migration into Britain; something that Cameron has yet to commit to because he knows how hard it would be to achieve in any renegotiation. Finally, he laid claim to his share of credit for the recovery—hailing how the ‘London factor’ was driving the recovery across the country.
Tonight, though, was a reminder of what a campaigning asset for the Tories Boris will be. He managed to be on message without ever being dull, to deliver the Tory talking points in humorous, attention-grabbing language. If he can do that every day during the campaign, he’ll amplify the Tory message in a way that no other politician could.