Sunak closes gap on Truss in Tory leadership race, poll finds | Conservative management
Rishi Sunak has closed the gap to Liz Truss in the Conservative Party leadership race, with the foreign secretary leading by just five points in the latest membership poll.
The former Chancellor’s campaign team have stressed in recent days that they find a much closer race on the pitch than the last YouGov poll suggested a fortnight ago, giving Truss a 24 point lead.
The latest poll was conducted by Techne for a private client, but data tables have been released for the poll of 807 Conservative members.
It comes after days of renewed momentum for Truss with a string of high-profile backers including Penny Mordaunt – a sign that ambitious ministers saw the race as sewn up.
Mordaunt, who was beaten by Truss to be Sunak’s challenger in the final stage of the leadership contest, said Truss was “the hopeful candidate.”
The endorsement was a blow to Sunak after a bitter campaign in which Mordaunt supporters blamed Truss for a damaging “blue on blue dogfight”.
Mordaunt was the latest of a number of new backers for Truss, including former leadership candidates Nadhim Zahawi and Tom Tugendhat, as well as former minister Brandon Lewis and West Midlands mayor Andy Street.
The latest poll also includes significant positive numbers for Truss, suggesting his tax policies are far more popular than Sunak’s – despite being taken before his announcement of further tax cuts in the next parliament. She was well rated by 62% of the members against 30% for Sunak. But Sunak has retained an advantage over Truss on Brexit, which is trusted by 50% to 41%.
Polling expert Sir John Curtice said on Tuesday he did not believe the race was over. “We have to bear in mind that since Tory MPs decided this was the contest between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, we have had a, I repeat a, opinion poll of people who will actually have a vote, that is, the Conservative members. But that poll is now almost a fortnight old,” he told GB News.
Another one poll in the Sunday Telegraph Conservative advisers also suggested the race was narrowing, with Truss on 31%, Sunak on 29% and more than 30% saying they don’t know.