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Rishi Sunak will make an excellent Prime Minister, UK opinion poll reveals

One-third of voters believe Rishi Sunak would be a good president, while the other third do not.

Rishi Sunak will make an excellent Prime Minister, UK opinion poll reveals - adt
London, First Published Jul 17, 2022, 6:48 PM IST

Nearly half of Conservative Party voters in the United Kingdom believe Rishi Sunak would make a good Prime Minister, following a new opinion poll released on Sunday. 

As per Sunday Telegraph, a JL Partners poll of over 4,400 people found that 48 per cent of those who supported the Tories in the 2019 general election thought the former British Indian Chancellor will make a good prime minister.

This is also the first poll to place Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in second place, with 39 per cent supporting her for Prime Minister and 33 per cent supporting Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt. 

The poll comes as the race to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader narrows to these three candidates, with former equalities minister Kemi Badenoch and Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Tom Tugendhat in fourth and fifth place, respectively.

According to James Johnson, co-founder of JL Partners and former Downing Street pollster, the overwhelming view among those who have heard of Mordaunt is one of neutrality.

Sunak encourages strong opinions. One-third of voters believe he would be a good president, while the other third do not. However, in an unpopular field where every other candidate is net-negative, this score draw elevates him to the public's favourite. Johnson added that he is especially popular with the crucial 2019 Conservative voter, as he is the only candidate with half of the vote. 

Turning the economy around was the most popular policy priority among all voters, with addressing the National Health Service (NHS) backlog and restoring trust and integrity in public life coming in second and third place, respectively.

Tax cuts, which have emerged as a central focus of all debates thus far, were the fourth priority by 38 per cent of voters overall and 40 per cent of Conservative voters.

According to the JL Partners poll, which also looked into the qualities voters want in a new leader, 19 per cent of Conservative supporters and 24 per cent of voters overall wanted a truthful leader.

According to the survey, the Labour Party is 11 points ahead of the Conservatives, with 42 points to the Tories' 31.

While the public debate the economy, the NHS, and public trust, Conservative MPs may think about something much simpler: who is the best candidate to keep their seat? According to the evidence, the answer is Mr Sunak, said James Johnson.

An MRP model, which maps survey results onto every seat in the country, discovered that Sunak had the highest net approval score among all voters in 76 per cent of the seats won by the Tories in the last general election over two years ago, compared to 19 per cent for Tugendhat and 5 per cent for Mordaunt.

Sunak (42) won the first two rounds of voting among Tory MPs last week, and the next few rounds of voting in the coming week are expected to further narrow the field, with only two remaining by Thursday.

While Sunak is the clear favourite among Tory MPs, some polling among Conservative Party members who will have the final say has Mordaunt leading.

However, a survey of 850 Tory members conducted overnight for the Conservative Home website found Badenoch in the lead with 31 per cent, Truss second with 20 per cent, Mordaunt third with 18 per cent, Sunak fourth with 17 per cent, and Tugendhat fifth with 10 per cent.

Postal ballots will be sent to approximately 160,000 Tory party members who are eligible to vote, and they will be used to determine the eventual winner and new Prime Minister, who will be announced on September 5.

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