Conservative members think both Mordaunt and Truss would make good leaders

Patrick EnglishDirector of Political Analytics
July 15, 2022, 8:27 AM GMT+0

Mordaunt may have a strong lead in the early polling, but the figures are also encouraging for Liz Truss

On Wednesday, our snap poll of 879 Conservative Party members revealed that Penny Mordaunt was their clear favourite to take over from Boris Johnson as leader of the party and prime minister.

But there was also some good news beneath that headline figure for Liz Truss.

Liz Truss was tied in joint-third with Rishi Sunak in our single choice question on preferred leader, but while the former Chancellor lost his head-to-head battles against both Truss and Mordaunt (as well as Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat), Truss triumphed against all the other candidates she faced bar Mordaunt.

The foreign secretary can take confidence from our polling which suggests that if it were her up against Rishi Sunak in the final round – a situation many suspect the former chancellor might try to engineer – then she would win comfortably.

Truss also comes in only just behind Penny Mordaunt in terms of members’ views on who would make a good prime minister. While 73% of members think Mordaunt would make a good leader, 69% also think Liz Truss would make a good leader. Just 51% of members think Sunak would make a good prime minister.

Though he currently leads in terms of MPs’ backing, Rishi Sunak is clearly underperforming expectations when it comes to the membership. Even when asked who members believe would be ‘most likely to lead the Conservative Party to victory’ at the next general election, the former chancellor comes in second place (on 17%) behind Penny Mordaunt (on 28%), and is virtually tied with Liz Truss (15%). He is more comfortably ahead of both Kemi Badenoch (12%) and Tom Tugendhat (7%).