UK: Sunak and Truss to Battle for Tory Leadership

    Photo: PA Media [via BBC]

    The Facts

    • Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will battle for the support of Conservative Party members after Penny Mordaunt was eliminated from the race to be the next UK PM on Wednesday.

    • Mordaunt - who was knocked out with 105 votes against Truss's 113 and Sunak's 137 - has reportedly pushed for party unity since the ballot, saying "we go forward together."

    The Spin

    Left narrative

    The Tories' much famed 'leveling-up' agenda is conspicuously absent from the current leadership contest. There is a jarring dissonance between the rise in child poverty and the focus on tax cuts and economic reform promised by all prime ministerial candidates. The Conservatives must do more to reduce inequality.

    Right narrative

    Truss is likely to at least start out with significantly more grassroots support than Sunak, not only because of her relative loyalty to Johnson but because of her commitment to rapidly cutting taxes. Sunak's pledge to keep taxation and public spending high is too much of an ideological diversion from true Conservative politics.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Although the electorate in the final round of voting will be much larger than the 357 Tory MPs entitled to decide on potential candidates so far, it's in no way representative of the UK. As of 2017, 71% of party members were men and their average age was 57. They were also much more likely to live in London and the South of England than in other parts of the nation. The competition is not a truly democratic process.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 60% chance that Liz Truss will win the next UK Conservative Party leadership election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Public figures in this story

    Political split



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