Sunday, September 25

The new Thatcher has no one to double her pulse

The race for succession in Downing Street and in the Conservative Party advances in the United Kingdom, with the candidates Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak trying to win the vote of the thousands of members of the formation, who will have this August to decide which of the the two will replace Boris Johnson. It will be on September 5 when the winner is announced, or perhaps rather the winner, since according to the polls, the Foreign Secretary is currently the favorite of that 0.3% of the total UK electorate who will be the one to take the decision. One of these queries is the one carried out by BMG Research and published by the iNews chain, and whose data suggests that the one who was the Minister of Finance until a few weeks ago and who during the pandemic became almost a celebrity, does not have enough support among the between 160,000 and 200,000 party members who have in their hands the election of the person who will occupy Downing Street from next month. According to this poll, among all Conservative voters, which includes members choosing the next Prime Minister, Truss is ahead of Sunak, with 43% of voters believing he would be better as leader of the party and government, compared to with 32% of the former minister. Related News standard No Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will compete for the succession of Boris Johnson as leader of the British Conservatives Patricia Romero Revuelta Penny Mourdant, the public favorite, was left out of the race despite having finished second in all previous rounds The data from the consulting firm YouGov are also not flattering for Sunak, which according to this company is “facing an uphill battle” in which “it is falling behind”. “Liz Truss’s advantage over her rival has increased by 38 points, with the Foreign Minister with 69%, compared to 31% for Sunak,” they say in the conclusions of the latest survey, which indicates that at the beginning of the contest “21% of members were unsure how they would vote”, a figure that “has since fallen to 13%, with Truss apparently the biggest beneficiary”. To top it off, a new poll of Conservative Party members by ConservativeHome found that Truss is most likely to become the next prime minister, with 58% of those polled supporting her, 12% undecided and 26% favoring her. Sunak. Another problem that both face is the change of opinion among voters, although the situation seems more stable, once again, for Truss, since 83% of those who currently say that they intend to vote for her assure that their decision is firm, with only 17% acknowledging that they could still change their mind, a number that rises to 29% in the case of those who support Sunak. Members were expected to receive ballots in the mail by August 11 and will have time to vote until 5 pm on September 2 . The delay in sending came after intelligence services raised concerns about the “vulnerability of the voting process”, which allowed the vote to be changed, something that is no longer possible now, since although the threat was not qualified as ” hostile”, a single-use code was added as a precaution to strengthen the security of the ballots. Support from heavyweights Truss’s campaign – whom some analysts compare to Thatcher, although she does not share this opinion – gained further momentum with the support of Nadhim Zahawi, one of the heavyweights among the ‘Tories’ who also signed up in a beginning of the race for the leadership and that, despite having said that he would not publicly endorse any candidate, he finally gave his support to his companion in ranks, more aligned than Sunak with the policies of the still Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Other powerful names that support her are the former Secretary of Northern Ireland, Brandon Lewis; and Tom Tugendhat, who also put his name on the table as an option to govern. But perhaps the biggest boost came when Penny Mordaunt, who was eliminated from the race as one of her favorites, stood up for her and praised “her authenticity of hers, her determination, her ambition for this country and her sense of duty.” “She is the hopeful candidate for me,” she said. In this context, Sunak himself acknowledged to a crowd in Grantham, Margaret Thatcher’s hometown in Lincolnshire, that he is the ‘underdog’, a word that can be translated as ‘the loser’ but also as the weakest or least likely to win, since “the factual forces” of the formation are on the side of their opponent. A senior Conservative source revealed that even Boris Johnson, whose downfall was triggered by the domino effect of Sunak’s resignation as finance minister, is “almost starting to feel sorry for” him. Change of course Sunak tried to shed his image as a former finance minister who wants to raise taxes by promising “the biggest income tax cut since Margaret Thatcher’s government”, and promised to cut the base rate from 20% to 16% in the next seven years, a move that Truss’s allies called a “change of course” after calling his plans “comforting fairy tales” but unrealistic. Taxes seem to be one of the main battlefields between the two. Sunak, who describes himself as “a product of immigration” on British soil, has promised that his priorities if he wins and assumes power include tackling illegal immigration and crime, delivering on Brexit promises and control inflation, which he described as “the enemy that impoverishes everyone.” He described this control-before-tax-cutting approach as “common-sense Thatcherism.” It is “what Margaret Thatcher would have done,” he told the audience. In addition, he affirmed that increasing the government’s indebtedness would be “immoral”, in a clear allusion, precisely, to one of Truss’s commitments, of whom there are those who say that he is trying to give an image similar to that of the ‘iron lady’, even with his clothing. In other areas, the Brexit-friendly foreign minister assures that she will not raise taxes, and will not cut public spending unless there is a way to do it that “does not cause problems in the future”, she will advance the goal of spending on 2, 5% of GDP on defense until 2026 and is even ready to introduce a new target of 3% for 2030.

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