Tory members say Liz Truss triumphed in BBC leadership debate

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
July 26, 2022, 11:00 AM GMT+0

The foreign secretary is seen as more in touch, likeable, trustworthy, and performed better on the issues

A snap YouGov poll of 507 Conservative party members who watched last night’s BBC debate between the two Tory leadership candidates shows that Truss is seen as the better performer, with 50% saying so to Rishi Sunak’s 39%.

That’s not to say that they thought Rishi Sunak performed poorly. In fact, almost two thirds (65%) say that the former chancellor performed well. Nevertheless, this is lower than the number who said the same of Truss (78%).

In terms of how each candidate came across, Truss is far more likely to be seen as in touch with ordinary people, at 63% to Sunak’s 19%. She also beats her rival when it comes to seeming likeable (by 54% to 35%) and trustworthy (by 51% to 37%).

However, on the matter of who looked more prime ministerial, the candidates tied: 43% say that Rishi Sunak did, while 42% give that point to Liz Truss.

Across the multitude of issues covered by the debate, Truss sweeps the board, being seen as better on every single one.

She wins most handsomely when it comes to Ukraine, with 62% of Tory members saying she performed better here compared to only 18% for Sunak.

The Truss campaign will be particularly pleased to see that she came across as best on the cost of living, by 55% to 34%. On the issue of the government’s key mission – levelling up – Truss also holds a commanding lead, at 51% to Sunak’s 30%.

The issue the two candidates are most closely tied on is Brexit, on which 43% say Truss performed best compared to Sunak’s 39% - a statistical draw within the margin of error.

See the full results here

Image: Getty

Explore more data & articles