Race to be next UK prime minister closer than thought, poll shows

Over 60 per cent of Conservative members in the Techne poll said Truss had better ideas on taxes than Sunak, and they also supported her plans to tackle inflation and handle immigration. However, respondents said Sunak was more trusted to deliver on Brexit and had better policies on education.

John Curtice, a professor of politics at the University of Strathclyde and one of Britain’s leading experts on polling, said on Monday (Aug 1) he was not sure the race was over.

“We have to bear in mind that since Tory MPs decided that this was the contest between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, we have had one, I repeat one, opinion poll of the people who will actually have a vote,” he told GB News.

Truss was criticised by the main opposition party and some Conservative lawmakers on Tuesday after she vowed to save billions of pounds a year by tailoring public sector pay to the cost of living in the region where people work rather than having a national pay agreement.

Sunak supporter Ben Houchen, the Conservative mayor of Tees Valley, said he was “speechless” at Truss’ plan.

“There is simply no way you can do this without a massive pay cut for 5.5 million people including nurses, police officers and our armed forces outside London,” he said.

Labour’s deputy leader, Angela Rayner, said Truss’s plans showed the Conservative government’s commitment to reducing inequalities between the north and south of Britain “is dead”.