Polls show UK’s Liz Truss leading prime minister race against Rishi Sunak: Analyst

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
4 min read

The UK’s Tory leadership race is in its final stage with less than 11 days until a winner is announced. If the results are as the latest poll suggests, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will lead the Conservative Party and subsequently become the third female prime minster of the UK.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

Truss has a very strong lead over rival and former Finance Minister Rishi Sunak, “we are talking about around 30 points,” Patrick English, associate director of political and social research at YouGov, told Al Arabiya in an interview.

“She is ahead over Sunak among the party membership right now. And with many of the members having already voted – around two thirds of them have already casted their ballots, it does not leave a lot of room for Rishi Sunak to catch up on that at the minute.”

With only two campaign events left to take place out of twelve organized by the Conservative Party across the UK, pollsters do not think Sunak could make a big change in the lead as so many members posted their ballots. Meanwhile, those who have not done so are certain they have decided they are going to vote for Truss, according to English.

“While Rishi Sunak does a little better among those who haven’t yet voted, Liz Truss still has a lead there,” he said.

The popularity of Truss is down to two things according to the polls, reducing taxes and loyalty.

“There are two reasons why Rishi Sunak struggles, and Liz Truss has done so well. One is that Liz Truss has been telling the membership what they want to hear in terms of tax,” English told Al Arabiya.

“The membership were telling us throughout this campaign they wanted a return to sort of traditional, conservative values on the economy. A diversion away from Boris Johnson’s high tax… and that’s what Liz Truss has promised to do,” he added.

The frontrunner has promised there would be “cancelations in our tax rises if she comes to power whereas Sunak would say ‘no, we’re not going to do that, we’re going to wait and see,’” according to English.

The second reason he added is loyalty and how Sunak handled his resignation around Johnson’s departure.

“The [membership] were not enamoured at all with the way that Rishi Sunak handled himself around Boris Johnson’s departure,” English told Al Arabiya. “They haven’t really taken too well to the fact that he resigned and as soon as Boris Johnson resigned.”

He added that Truss stayed in role as secretary and was critical, but she didn’t resign.

“I think that’s been hurting Rishi Sunak as well,” English said.

What the polls also reveal is that members of the conservative would vote for Johnson and he would win comfortably if he was in the race. He is still favorable among particular party members despite the scandals that have marred his premiership. He achieved Brexit and won the general election in 2019 with biggest majority since the days of Margaret Thatcher. While Johnson did a good job in their view, a lot of people do not think Sunak or Truss would do better.

UK’s new prime minister will be announced on September 5.


Read more:

UK’s borrowing rises as PM contenders promise more help

UK prime minister contender Rishi Sunak signals he would not serve in a Truss govt

Important to work with energy firms to bring prices down: UK’s foreign secretary

Top Content Trending