The deadline for Tory members to declare their preference between former Indian-origin Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the contest to succeed Boris Johnson as the head of the Conservative Party and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom was Friday evening.
Over the last month, Rishi Sunak, 42, and Liz Truss, 47, have faced off in a dozen hustings throughout the UK to win over the support of an estimated 160,000 Conservative voters. The voting has concluded, and Sir Graham Brady, the returning officer, will announce the outcome on Monday at 12.30 p.m. local time, according to the Conservative Campaign Headquarters (CCHQ).
“This hustings schedule has demonstrated the power of our party throughout the UK, with sold-out events filling venues from Perth Concert to Wembley Arena,” said Conservative Party Chairman Andrew Stephenson.
“I’d want to thank Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak for engaging in what must have at times been a demanding schedule in good spirits and allowing our members to ask them direct questions, responding to over 600 inquiries, and putting themselves in the spotlight. Whatever the outcome on Monday, I am certain that our party will be prepared to come together behind a new Leader and take on the problems that lie ahead for our nation, “said he.
Nineteen thousand eight hundred fifty-nine individuals showed up for the 12 hustings sessions, according to the CCHQ, and 2.2 million people watched them online overall.
While the former British Indian minister stressed throughout his campaign that controlling the current inflation rate was a top goal, the foreign minister promised tax reductions starting in 2018.
Overall, the discussions had focused on how they intend to handle the cost-of-living problem that the British population is now experiencing, even as the pair gave their last hustings speech on Wednesday night in London when they reaffirmed many of their commitments.
When asked about morality and ethics, Rishi Sunak responded, “I have put repairing trust at the center of the campaign.
The Indian-origin finance minister has been on the back foot in the pre-poll surveys of Tory members who have a vote in this election, despite being the apparent front-runner in the leadership race in the first round of voting when Tory MPs voted to pick the two finalists in the campaign.
Although Truss was not one of the ministers who resigned in the days before Johnson’s forced departure from 10 Downing Street, fierce devotion to departing Prime Minister Boris Johnson is being mentioned as a significant driving element in the selection of a majority for Truss. Another essential element making Truss, the front-runner, succeed Johnson is the appeal of her tax-cutting pledges to the Conservative Party, which is adamantly pro-low taxes.
But Rishi Sunak’s supporters will be hoping to repeat the Brexit referendum outcome from June 2016, when Britain chose to leave the European Union (EU), defying the majority of polls conducted before the vote.
Johnson was elected with a massive majority in the 2019 general election, which went against the predictions of several pollsters forecasting a less clear-cut outcome and an anti-incumbency factor working against the Tories.
The winner of the votes cast online and by mail since voting began in early August will be declared on Monday, and the new leader will go to Scotland for a meeting with the Queen at her Balmoral Castle vacation house. Then, one of Sunak or Truss will respond to the first round of Prime Minister’s Questions in the House of Commons on Wednesday.