Rishi Sunak would beat Liz Truss if U.K. PM poll held now, survey finds

A YouGov poll of Tory members found 55% would now vote for Rishi Sunak if they were able to vote again, while just 25% would vote for Lizz Truss

October 19, 2022 09:13 am | Updated 06:15 pm IST - London

Rishi Sunak would beat his rival Liz Truss if the Conservative Party leadership election was held now. File

Rishi Sunak would beat his rival Liz Truss if the Conservative Party leadership election was held now. File | Photo Credit: Reuters

Former Indian-origin chancellor Rishi Sunak would beat his rival Liz Truss if the Conservative Party leadership election is held now as a result of what is dubbed as "buyer's remorse" among the voting Tory members, according to a new poll on Tuesday.

A YouGov poll of Tory members found 55% would now vote for 42-year-old Mr. Sunak if they were able to vote again, while just 25% would vote for Ms. Truss.

"With the ongoing political chaos at Westminster dominating headlines, a new YouGov Political Research snap poll of Conservative party members finds significant buyer’s remorse among the party membership surrounding their September decision to elect Liz Truss leader," says a YouGov analysis.

Also Read | Rishi Sunak vs Liz Truss: key policy differences

YouGov also finds that a majority (55%) of members think Ms. Truss should resign as party leader and Prime Minister after a series of U-turns and only 38 per cent believe she should remain.

The most popular choice to take over the top job at 10 Downing Street remains the partygate scandal-hit former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who is favoured by 63% as a good replacement, with 32% putting him as their top candidate, followed by Mr. Sunak at 23%.

"Were Liz Truss to buckle to such pressure and resign, Tory members would most want to see Boris Johnson brought back to replace her,” YouGov noted in an analysis of the data.

"One in three (32%) say he is the person they would most want to take over, followed by 23% for former Chancellor and leadership rival Mr. Sunak and 10% for Defence Secretary Ben Wallace,” it said.

As many as 83% of Conservative members say Ms. Truss is doing badly as Prime Minister, including 72%of those who voted for her in the leadership election which concluded with her win just over a month ago. Only 15% think she is doing well.

It comes as Ms. Truss apologised for “mistakes” made in the first few weeks in office, which saw her entire tax-cutting economic agenda reversed by new Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and a clamour from different sections of the Tory parliamentary party to find ways to replace her.

Under the 1922 Committee rules, Ms. Truss is safe from a leadership challenge for at least 12 months. However, her mishandling of the economy with a controversial mini-budget has resulted in a brewing rebellion within the ranks just weeks into the job.

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