British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss leads rival Rishi Sunak by 22 percentage points in the bid to become the country’s next prime minister, a poll showed on Saturday. by Opinium Research among members of the Conservative Party.
In a sample of 450 party members who had already cast their vote in the current leadership election, Truss, who has also been shown as the clear favorite in other polls, won 61%, ahead of former finance minister Sunak, with the 39%, said Opinium.
The nearly 200,000 members of the ruling Conservative Party are voting for a replacement for Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who after a series of scandals and a parliamentary rebellion said in July that he would resign once his party chose a replacement.
The total size of the sample, including those who did not express their voting preference, was 570 people. Less than a third, 29%, said they had already voted and another 47% said they had made a decision. Only 19% indicated that they might change their mind.
Voting for leadership is done by mail, with the winner announced on September 5. The survey was conducted between August 8 and 12.
The poll shows that the top three reasons for supporting Truss are dislike of Sunak, perception that she was more trustworthy and that she had remained loyal to Johnson. Sunak’s resignation helped bring about Johnson’s downfall.
Sunak’s supporters said he is better at economics and the more competent or intelligent of the two candidates.
The pollster said it had observed “nostalgia for Johnson” among party members, noting that 63% would prefer Johnson to remain in office rather than Truss taking over. The preference for Johnson over Sunak was even higher, at 68%.