Conservatives 'want to keep the socialists out' says Rees-Mogg
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Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have one more month left to convince voting Conservative members they should become the next Prime Minister. The two finalists have emerged from an, at times, brutal contest that started after Boris Johnson’s resignation in July, with hustings scheduled throughout August. Paid-up members must submit their final ballots by September 2, and pollsters have helped pre-empt the results with the latest odds.
Who will win the Tory leadership race?
The 2022 Conservative leadership race has run differently from 2019 when Mr Johnson had already spent months as a clear frontrunner.
Mr Sunak held his level of popularity early in his tenure as Chancellor, thanks to policies like Eat Out to Help Out and the Universal Credit uplift.
But the latest polling data from Betfair Exchange show that his support base has rapidly fallen off, and he now lags behind former outsider Ms Truss by a vast margin.
The pollsters found that earlier this year, Mr Sunak was the most likely Cabinet member to become the next Prime Minister, with odds of 31 percent (11/5).
His year-long high, posted in February, came after months of hovering around the 25 percent mark, far above Ms Truss, who averaged 12 percent (15/2).
When the leadership contest ignited in July, their positions rapidly reversed, landing Ms Truss in pole position.
She is now a near-certain winner, while odds show Mr Sunak has occasionally become less popular than the Foreign Secretary at her lowest point.
Ms Truss currently has odds of 82 percent (2/9) to win the leadership bid this year, while Mr Sunak is in an unfavourable second with 18 percent (9/2).
He has lost 14 percent of his popularity since February down to nearly since February, while his rival has gained 69 percent.
A 64-point chasm has now opened between the two candidates, one the former Chancellor is unlikely to broach as he becomes the political outsider.
Sam Rosbottom, a spokesman for Betfair, said Ms Truss is enjoying a “meteoric rise”.
He told Express.co.uk: “Liz Truss’ chances of becoming the next Conservative leader have seen a meteoric rise in the past month.”
“Since Boris Johnson announced he would resign, her chances have rocketed from 9 percent to 82 percent.
“She is the firm favourite with punters and has been backed into 2/9 on Betfair Exchange.”
Mr Rosbottom added that Ms Truss has now sealed her lead, having first pulled ahead of Mr Sunak in May.
The Foreign Secretary counts on iron-clad support from the right of the Conservative Party, but that could change over the next month.
Earlier today, she had to make a U-turn on an unpopular policy proposal.
Senior Tories railed against her plan to introduce region pay boards, which would adjust salaries regionally for new civil service workers.
They argued the policy would reduce salaries for millions of workers outside London and the southeast, flying in the face of levelling up, which Ms Truss pledged to continue.
She had planned to use the boards as part of a move to cut down on “Whitehall waste” and make £8.8 billion in savings.
A spokesman for the Truss campaign denied it would have changed current public sector pay.
They said there was a “wilful misrepresentation of our campaign”, and that current levels of public sector pay “will absolutely be maintained”.
The spokesman added: “Anything to suggest otherwise is simply wrong.”
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