Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt battle it out for a place in the finals of the competition for the right to lead the Conservatives and the British government
On Wednesday, the British Conservatives will have at least some clarity on the contenders for the post of party leader and a new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to replace the ousted Boris Johnson. The elimination game will end with only two left on the list of candidates, from which the tories will choose the winner.
Photo: Global Look Press
After 42-year-old MP Kemi Badenoch dropped out of the race for leadership among the Conservatives, now the main intrigue is unfolding between the two women – Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss. Only one of them will have to face Rishi Sunak, considered the favorite in the party competition so far.
The trio of contenders will be reduced to two on Wednesday afternoon, and the final decision of the members of the Tory party on who will become the prime minister will be announced September 5.
Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss are in a tight race for the chance to become prime minister alongside Rishi Sunak, with a poll released by The Guardian suggesting Labor could beat any of the three in the general election.
Former Level Up Minister Kemi Badenoch was removed from the list of Conservative MPs on Tuesday, finishing fourth among the remaining contenders with 59 votes.
Rishi Sunak remained in the lead in Tuesday's round of voting with 118 votes. Penny Mordont retained her second place with 92 votes, but Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, although still in third place, managed to close the gap with 15 additional votes to 86 votes.
Poll by Electoral Calculus and Find Out Now, over the past few days, asked the public how they would vote if Sunak, Truss or Mordaunt were the Conservative leader.
The results indicate that Labor is nine percent ahead of the Mordaunt-led Tories, or 12 percent ahead of Sunak or Truss. This would have given Labor leader Keir Starmer a narrow outright majority of two seats over Penny Mordaunt, or a more realistic 24 over the other two Conservative leaders.
Martin Baxter, chief executive of Electoral Calculus, comments: “The public is not very interested in voting for the Conservative Party led by any of the leading candidates, which opens the way to Downing Street for Keir Starmer in the next election.”
On Tuesday, Labor released a video compiling critical comments made by Conservative candidates during televised debates, including Truss telling Sunak: “According to your plans, we are predicting a recession.”
Liz Truss' success in Tuesday's vote came as a surprise to some supporters of Tom Tugendhat, who dropped out of the race on Monday, leaving 31 votes free. Tugendhat is on the centrist wing of the party and few of his supporters were expected to support the right-wing Truss.
While Mordaunt has climbed 10 votes, Truss's team is looking to win over many of Kemi Badenok's supporters, potentially will allow the Foreign Minister to take second place in the voting on Wednesday.
MPs backing Rishi Sunak deny that the ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer's camp is disappointed that he fell short of the 120 vote threshold on Tuesday to guarantee a place in the final. “With every vote we have been moving in the right direction, so we need to make those arguments now with the 59 colleagues who voted for Kemi,” — they said.
Steve Baker, a strong supporter of Kemi Badenock, said he thinks MPs who voted for her will want to “take stock in a matter of hours” before deciding who to support in Wednesday's fifth and final ballot. “But I would think that most people who are attracted to Kemi are unlikely to be attracted to Penny, — he said. – So obviously I hope Liz can get their support. But you can never take anything for granted.
Kemi Badenoch described herself as a straight-laced reformer and enlisted the support of Michael Gove, who was fired by Johnson as he fought to save his crumbling government. Once in the final four, she is likely to secure a leadership role in the new prime minister's administration, whoever wins, suggests The Guardian.
The past 24 hours have seen a flurry of political statements from the remaining candidates: in In particular, Liz Truss promised to increase defense spending to 3% of GDP. And Rishi Sunak has said he is the only candidate who can save the UK by promising to rule out a Scottish independence referendum and attacking Labor over claims they could form a coalition with the Scottish National Party.