The race for Downing Street is tightening thirteen days after the resignation of Boris Johnson. The fourth round of the internal ballot, organized this Wednesday, July 20, to choose the successor to Boris Johnson gave two finalists. They are former British finance minister Rishi Sunak and foreign minister Liz Truss.
Rishi Sunak won 137 votes from Conservative MPs, ahead of Liz Truss (113 votes). While the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade Penny Mordaunt was eliminated with 105 votes, according to the results announced by Graham Brady, responsible for organizing the internal election at the Conservative Party. On 5th September next one of them will be appointed Prime Minister, following Boris Johnson, following a postal vote open to the 200,000 party members. It is now certain that the British government will be led either for the first time by a non-white man, or for the third time by a woman.
After the resignation of the British Prime Minister on July 7, overwhelmed by various scandals, eight candidates from the Conservative Party presented themselves to succeed him claiming to be the head of the party and the country.
Rishi Sunak, 42, whose departure from government in early July helped precipitate Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s downfall, has been in the lead since the first vote. However, the competition, very open, is far from being won for the one who seems less popular with the base of the party than with the deputies. According to a YouGov poll published on Tuesday, the ex-finance minister would be largely beaten in the final regardless of his opponent. Conversely, Liz Truss, 46, was deemed unconvincing last week but managed to close the gap. She also seems to be in the best position to get the votes of Kemi Badenoch, who, like her, represents the right wing of the Tories.
This Wednesday, in front of the House of Commons, during his last question session in Parliament as Prime Minister, Boris Johnson split a “hasta la vista, baby” and advice for those who will succeed him: “Stay close to Americans, support Ukrainians, fight for freedom and democracy everywhere. Lower taxes and deregulate where you can to make this country the best place to live and invest.”
A debate between the two finalists will be held next Monday on the BBC, the public broadcasting group announced, while the last debate was canceled after the candidates refused to participate, raising fears that the exposure of disagreements between the candidates do not weaken the majority.