And then there were five… Sunak leads but Mordant closes

The results are in and the list of wannabe prime ministers has been whittled down to five MPs:

  • Rishi Sunak: 101 (+13; +14.8%)
  • Penny Mordaunt: 83 (+16; +24%)
  • Liz Truss: 64 (+14; +28%)
  • Kemi Badenoch: 49 (+9; +23%)
  • Tom Tugendhat: 32 (-5;  -14%).

Suella Braverman has been eliminated from the contest with 27 votes (-5; -16%). Earlier she refused to stand aside for Liz Truss or Kemi Badenoch to concentrate support for the right wing of the party.

Penny Mordant has made the biggest gains and looks in reach of matching or overtaking Rishi Sunak. Liz Truss still lags and Tom Tugendhat looks close to elimination in the next round of voting on Monday.

The five still standing

Kemi Badenoch is a former levelling up and equalities minister. Very much on the right of the Conservative Party, she pledges lower taxes and tight controls on spending to boost the economy. She is a champion of the campaign against woke. On the environment, she if thought be green leaning but will look again at net zero targets.

Penny Mordaunt is a champion of style over substance, echoes of the retiring prime minister there. With a military background, her strongest line has been: “Our leadership has to change. It needs to become a little less about the leader and a lot more about the ship.” She is understood to support net zero and climate action. She has publicly supported trans rights but has softened her commitment in recent days under media pressure.

Rishi Sunak emphasises fiscal prudence now with tax cuts later. He has been reluctant to spend on tackling the climate crisis. Says he is committed to protecting women’s rights from “gender-neutral language”.

Liz Truss has pledged to reverse the national insurance increase and the proposed rise in corporation tax. She has an uneven record on tackling the climate crisis, leaving climate commitments out of trade deals while in other contexts saying tackling climate change is important. “Temporary” moratorium on green energy levy. Against people having the right to self-identify their gender. And as the Express reports today, quoting LDV, she was a former Lib Dem.

Tom Tugendhat promises a relentless focus on the cost of living crisis, including reversing the national insurance rise. Says taxes are too high and fuel duty should be cut. Reduce reliance on energy imports. Commit to 3% on defence. He is apparently not pulling out:

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at He is Thursday editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.

One Comment

  • George Thomas 14th Jul '22 - 3:44pm

    Is it too simple an analysis to suggest Braverman’s 27 will soon jump to Liz Truss (making 91 in total) and Tugendhat’s 32 will soon jump to Mordaunt’s ship (making 115 in total)? Undoubtedly so, but it wouldn’t surprise me to see Badenoch’s 49 be significant and Michael “The Snake” Gove once again playing a big role in leadership contest.

    Whoever wins they should be talking about immediate risk of cost of living crisis and increasing climate crisis to win a general election but will first have to play to the Tory crowd and talk about cutting spending, shrinking the state and culture wars to become Prime Minister. They’ll make promises which they’ll have to keep and will make future of the UK that much more desperate.

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