Race to become UK’s next prime minister closer than thought, polls show

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Taxes have so far dominated the race between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak. (File)

London:

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the frontrunner to replace British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has a smaller lead over her rival Rishi Sunak than previously thought, according to a poll of party members.

Truss is supported by 48% of Conservative Party members, compared to 43% for former finance minister Mr Sunak, according to the poll of 807 people by Italian data company Techne, conducted July 19-27.

This suggests a much tighter race than an earlier poll of Conservative members conducted by YouGov on July 20-21, which showed Truss had a 24 point lead over Mr Sunak.

Sunak and Truss take part in a summer tour of Britain to gather the votes of some 200,000 Conservative members, who will choose the next prime minister with the winner announced on September 5.

Taxes have dominated the race so far. Sunak has accused Truss of being “dishonest” to voters with her promises of major tax cuts once she takes office. Sunak said he would make sure inflation is under control before cutting taxes, something Truss said would push the country into recession.

More than 60% of Conservative members in the Techne poll said Truss had better ideas about taxes than Mr Sunak, and they also supported her plans to tackle inflation and tackle immigration. However, respondents said that Mr Sunak had more confidence to deliver on Brexit and had better education policies.

John Curtice, a professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde and one of Britain’s leading polling experts, said Monday he wasn’t sure the race was over.

“We must remember that since Tory MPs decided that this was the match between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, we’ve had one, I repeat one, poll of the people who will actually vote,” he told GB News. .

Truss was criticized on Tuesday by the main opposition party and some conservative lawmakers after she vowed to save billions of pounds a year by aligning public sector wages with the cost of living in the region where people work rather than negotiating a national wage agreement. to have.

Ben Houchen, the supporter of Sunak, the conservative mayor of Tees Valley, said he was “speechless” against Truss’ plan.

“You just can’t do this without a massive pay cut for 5.5 million people, including nurses, police officers and our armed forces outside London,” he said.

Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner said Truss’ plans show the Conservative government’s commitment to reducing disparities between the north and south of Britain is “dead”.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)



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