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Liz Truss makes herself sure as to be next UK Prime Minister

Opinion polls show that it is a racing certainty that Lizz Truss will be the next PM of the United Kingdom. Miss Truss is 28 percentage points ahead of her only rival Rishi Sunak.

The UK Conservative Party is choosing a new leader. Boris Johnson resigned as leader of the party in July 2022. He is staying on as Prime Minister in a caretaker capacity until such time as a replacement can be found. Johnson is tipped to resign as PM on 5 September 2022.

Only Conservative Party members can vote in this election. There are up to 160,000 of them. Their average age is 57, they are overwhelmingly white and most have an above-average income. They are concentrated in southern England. Their demographics are unrepresentative of the United Kingdom as a whole. There are 650 constituencies in the realm. The Conservative Party has an association in each constituency.

Truss has addressed Conservative associations up and down the United Kingdom. She has played to the gallery. Liz Truss has told Tory Party members what they want to hear. Brexit has been a triumph, taxes shall be cut, this will not hurt public services, the defence forces shall be beefed up, Russia is being beaten, inflation will be controlled, and the UK can unilaterally end Northern Ireland Protocol without suffering any blowback. Much of this is a furphy. But the party faithful laps it up. Is Liz Truss disingenuous or delusional? Her tutor from Oxford says that Liz was able to pivot from one hardline position to its diametrically opposite without experiencing the least modicum of discombobulation.

Miss Truss' policies are wrongheaded and even dangerous. But if she wants to win the leadership, she is going about it the right way. Throwing red meat to the party has certainly worked.

Liz Truss said that civil servants' pay should be docked in the poorer areas of the UK. The cost of living in Durham is much lower than in London. She argues that there is no reason why a civil servant in Durham should be paid the same as someone on the same grade in London. This provoked predictable howls of outrage from public sector unions and the Labour Party. It was so deafening that Truss backed down within hours. She does not have the courage of her convictions. Moreover, it is indicative of her not thinking through her policies. Truss' outlook is one of mindless optimism.

Rishi Sunak is trailing despite spirited campaigning. His good wife Akshata Murthy and his daughters aged 9 and 11 have accompanied him to many campaign events.

Mr Sunak has made some strategic blunders. He was invited to address the Richmond Park and Kingston North Conservative Association. This is the third biggest association in the country.

The British Indian has been assailed for wearing expensive suits. This is a ludicrous and underhand criticism. Conservatives are capitalists. They consider it laudable to enrich oneself. Is it bad to dress well?

But if Mr Sunak misses out this time he may have another bite of the cherry sooner than you might think. The premiership is a poisoned chalice at the moment. Inflation is at an eye-watering 9% and tipped to rise next year. Energy costs have doubled and will double again within months. The health service is close to breaking point. Bus and train strikes are palsying the country. Illegal immigration is rising. Crime is on the up and up. The Ukraine War is dragging on. The warm afterglow of the Platinum Jubilee is fading. Thankfulness for the end of lockdown has dissipated. Support for the government for arming Ukraine is shrinking. There will be a diminution in Conservative popularity in 2023.

Liz Truss will inherit hereditas damnosa. Her policies look set to aggravate an already lamentable concatenation of problems.

The next election needs to be before the end of December 2024. Truss will probably wait till then. Labour is already ahead in the polls. They have a credible prime minister in waiting as a leader: Sir Keir Starmer. Sir Keir of the former head of the Crown Prosecution Service. He is respectable and has no skeletons in his cupboard. Labour and the Liberal Democrats have tacitly agreed to cooperate. They will not fight against each other. They shall save their fire for the Tories.

The Conservatives are likely to lose the 2024 election. They have won four elections on the trot. You cannot win them all. No party has defied political gravity for longer.

If Truss leads the Tories to electoral disaster (probable), then she will be out as a leader. Sunak can come in and say ''I told you so. You should have picked me.'' He could then be elected leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party. It would be his mission to lead the party back to the office and become PM.

(The author is a political analyst based in the UK. You can watch him on YouTube: George from Ireland)

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TAGS:Liz Truss Rishi Sunak UP Prime Minister Brexit 
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