Foreign secretary Liz Truss today was victorious over Rishi Sunak, her rival for the Conservative leadership and the job of prime minister. She was elected by 81,326 Conservative Party members (compared to 60,399 for Sunak), but the country as a whole is not enthusiastic about her forthcoming premiership.
Asked in the immediate aftermath of the result, 50% of Britons say they are disappointed that she is to be the next prime minister, including a third (33%) who are ‘very disappointed’. This is considerably more than the 22% who say they are very or fairly pleased.
Four in ten Conservative voters (41%) say they are pleased with Liz Truss’s impending promotion, but a third (34%) report being disappointed.
The lack of enthusiasm among Britons may be down to the fact that there is little confidence in Truss’s future government to have the right policies and plans to tackle the rising cost of living, cited in YouGov polling over the weekend as the top priority for the new government.
Two thirds of Britons (67%) say they don’t have much confidence in Liz Truss’s government to have the right ideas to get to grips with the escalating cost of living, including 38% who have no confidence whatsoever.
Just 19% have confidence in the ability of the Truss administration to come to terms with this issue, with a mere 2% saying they have ‘a lot of confidence’. Even among Conservative voters, only 35% have confidence in their new leader being able to tackle these issues, with a majority (54%) saying they do not have much or any confidence.
Now that the votes have been counted and the result is known, Britons can reflect on how the new incumbent of Number 10 compares to her predecessor. A plurality of Britons (40%) say they think Truss will be ‘about the same’ as Boris Johnson when it comes to their respective performances as prime minister. A quarter (27%) think she will be a worse prime minister, while just 14% think she will be better.
Conservative voters in particular tend to think she will be worse (34%) than her former boss, twice as many as think she will be an improvement (17%). Another 31% expect them to be comparable.