LIZ Truss is 60% likely to win the Conservative leadership race, according to leading pollster Joe Twyman.
Mr Twyman, co-founder and director of Deltapoll, was one of five experts who aired their views on the Tory contest on GB News this morning [Monday].
Asked about who is leading the race, he told GB News:
“They do indeed seem to be leaning towards Truss. It’s around sort of 60/40 at the moment, which is close to the margin of victory that we’ve seen in previous membership contests the Conservative Party have run. At the moment, when you ask the general public which candidate they prefer, Rishi Sunak wins out, with a large number of people who say they “don’t know”. Then, when you ask those people who say they don’t know, who they would choose if forced, essentially the result becomes neck and neck.
Earlier, education secretary James Cleverly MP explained why he was backing Ms Truss saiyng:
“I’ve known Liz for decades and we’ve been good friends. It’s only fair that I’m open about that. I had a positive predisposition towards her running as Prime Minister anyway, but what’s really struck me is working with her in the Foreign Office and seeing how she’s dealt with incredible difficult situations that we are faced with internationally. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, China’s economic leverage in the developing world and a whole load of other issues too numerous to mention.
“But on top of that, I’ve seen the more private personal side of her, the fact that she is incredibly clever, but also she can be very, very light hearted and fun to be with.
“My real hope is that through this process people will get to see not only the tough side of her that’s been dealing with these international crises that we find ourselves in the midst of, but also that human side, the side that I see, and I think that combination is exactly what we need as a future Prime Minister.”
Kevin Hollinrake MP told GB News why he is backing Rishi Sunak:
“He himself says he’s the underdog in this race but it’s great to have the opportunity to set his stall out.
“In my view he is by far the best candidate to be our next Prime Minister. He’s got the intellect and he’s got all the features we need from somebody who can beat Labour in the next election, which is crucial, of course.
“That’s the most important thing right now. I think we need somebody who understands Brexit and campaigned for Brexit. And somebody who can make the most of it. There’s a world of opportunity out there. We need somebody who can really deliver on that opportunity.”
Australia’s former foreign minister Alexander Downer praised Mr Sunak for recognising the threat that China poses to the UK.
He told GB News: “In the medium term, China is going to be much more of a threat. It’s proved itself to be very aggressive, aggressive on Hong Kong issues, aggressive towards the Uighur people, in the South China Sea, aggressive in terms of cyber attacks and attempts to penetrate the key institutions of the UK as well as other countries, not least of my own country of Australia.
“It makes sense for the British government to recognise that threat ,that the Australian government and the American governments have both done and Rishi Sunak has come up over the weekend with some constructive proposals.
“The most important of which is to protect critical national infrastructure. But secondly, the banning of the Confucians institutes in the 30 UK universities that have them is a recognition of the need that the universities need to be independent, not subject to funding from Beijing and diktats from Beijing.”
He added: ‘It’s interesting that Rishi Sunak should choose to make a public statement on his approach to China as Prime Minister should he become Prime Minister.
“That does show what I’ve said all along about Rishi Sunak that the man has intellectual breadth and understanding of a whole range of issues which you need to be the prime minister I mean, you need you need lots of things to be the Prime Minister but if you’re not intellectually equipped to do it, and you’re not intellectually adept and flexible, then you’re not going to be able to do the job well, and he has shown that not to reflect on Liz Truss, but he has shown that he has those capacities”
Mr Sunak’s ten-point plan to tackle illegal immigration however was criticised by Steve Valdez-Symonds, a refugee and migrant rights programme director for Amnesty UK.
He told GB News:
“The overall takeaway is that he is embarking upon precisely the same sort of programme as the Home Secretary has been pursuing for the last three years.
“That is one of seeking to avoid asylum responsibilities. ‘Seeker’ suggests that there should be other people’s responsibilities and not this country’s and trying to therefore prevent people arriving, continuing the idea of not processing the claims of people who do arrive, and imagining that somehow rather, the still relatively few people who come to this country to seek asylum can be made and sent somewhere else for someone else to take responsibility.
“It is a hopeless, hopeless way of responding to this.”