iz Truss’s campaign to replace Boris Johnson as Prime Minister received a major boost on Tuesday after a new poll of Conservative members suggested she had comfortably won Monday night’s fiery televised BBC debate with Rishi Sunak.
According to a survey of just over 500 Tory party members, conducted by YouGov following the TV clash, 50 per cent said the Foreign Secretary was the better performer compared to 39 per cent for Mr Sunak, former Chancellor.
YouGov also said Ms Truss came across as more in touch, likeable and trustworthy than Mr Sunak. Only on the question of which candidate seemed more suited to be Prime Minister did Mr Sunak come out on top with 43 per cent favouring him over 42 per cent for Ms Truss.
On every area covered during the bruising debate Tory members considered Ms Truss to be ahead with the Foreign Secretary way in front on Ukraine, levelling up and winning an election.
The results of the survey come after an instant poll of Tory voters conducted by Opinium on Monday night found 47 per cent thought Ms Truss came out on top compared to 38 per cent for Mr Sunak. However, among regular voters the survey showed Mr Sunak had just edged it with 39 per cent to 38 per cent.
Last week a separate YouGov survey showed 62 per cent of Tory members favoured Ms Truss over 38 per cent for the former Chancellor.
Despite comfortably winning the vote of Conservative MPs which narrowed the field of leadership candidates to the final two, Mr Sunak faces an uphill battle to convince the 160,000 members. The winner will be announced on September 5.
With many Tory activists expected to vote early when ballot papers arrive from next week, Mr Sunak is under pressure to use the opening skirmishes of the campaign to persuade Conservative members of his plans to put off tax cuts until inflation is brought back under control next year.
By contrast Ms Truss has said she will call an emergency budget and reverse rises in National Insurance and Corporation Tax immediately after entering No10.
According to YouGov’s post BBC debate findings, 63 per cent of Tory members said Ms Truss was more in touch with ordinary people compared to 19 per cent for Mr Sunak. Fifty-four per cent said she was more likeable compared to 35 per cent for Mr Sunak while 51 per cent said Ms Truss was more trustworthy compared to 35 per cent for Mr Sunak.
Matthew Smith, from YouGov, said: “Across the multitude of issues covered by the debate, Truss sweeps the board, being seen as better on every single one.
“She wins most handsomely when it comes to Ukraine, with 62 per cent of Tory members saying she performed better here compared to only 18 per cent for Sunak.”
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