London [UK]: UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has gained as many as a 24-point lead over former chancellor Rishi Sunak in the race for becoming the next Prime Minister, according to the latest YouGov survey.
On Thursday, Conservative Party members voted to send both Sunak and Truss through to the final stage of the party’s leadership contest in the race to replace Boris Johnson. The final two candidates, fighting for the UK Prime Minister post, have gone head-to-head in a television debate in the previous round, clashing over the state of the economy, including each other’s tax and spending plans.
One of them will now be selected for the Prime Minister’s post by the party membership in a ballot running from August 4 until early September, according to the YouGov survey.
Earlier, the figure from the YouGov survey suggested that Truss would beat Sunak in a hypothetical head-to-head by 19 points.
Now, the two had finally announced and their summer campaign began, a new YouGov poll of Tory members suggests that Truss retains her strong advantage.
According to the survey, 31 per cent of the members intends to vote for Rishi Sunak, while 49 per cent intend to vote for Liz Truss. A further 15 per cent currently don’t know how they will vote, and 6 per cent currently tell us they will abstain.
This puts the headline voting intention at 62 per cent for Truss and 38 per cent for Sunak (i.e. after people who are currently unsure or won’t vote are excluded) – a 24-point lead for the foreign secretary.
The Survey predicted that Sunak has a mountain to climb to overturn the deficit he currently faces among the party faithful. A former chancellor could capture a good percentage of a few members, who are currently either undecided or not planning to vote, which would significantly reduce the gap. But relying on undecideds alone will not work, Sunak has a lot of work to do convincing current Truss backers that they should be voting for him instead.
But Sunak faces some significant barriers in this pursuit, namely that Truss also holds sizeable advantages over him on key metrics such as trustworthiness and ability to lead the party.
This Tuesday’s Tory leadership debate between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss was cancelled after presenter Kate McCann fainted and collapsed live on air.
“Kate McCann fainted on air tonight and although she is fine, the medical advice was that we shouldn’t continue with the debate. We apologise to our viewers and listeners,” tweeted TalkTV, which was co-hosting Tuesday evening’s programme with the Sun.
Former chancellor Rishi Sunak and British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss were taking part in a second head-to-head debate when a loud crash was heard in the studio, reported UK-based media.
Truss panicked at the loud crash and could be heard saying “oh my god” as she walked off the stage, after which the broadcast was suspended.
The programme immediately went off-air, with a message appearing on-screen saying: “We are sorry for the disruption to this programme. We are working hard to fix the issue and will return to normal programming soon.”
The Tory leadership race was triggered after Johnson was forced to step down on July 7 amid an avalanche of resignations of government officials, who protested against his scandal-plagued leadership. Johnson will continue to serve as caretaker prime minister until a new Tory leader succeeds him.