France – World | Race to Downing Street: Election time for the Tories

France - World |  Race to Downing Street: Election time for the Tories

LONDON – Members of Britain’s Conservative Party begin voting this week to elect their new leader, with Liz Truss now the clear favorite over Rishi Sunak to succeed Boris Johnson in Downing Street five weeks from now.

Members of the 12-year-old party, whose exact numbers remain secret but are estimated at around 200,000 (less than 0.3% of the population), have until September 2 to express their choice during a postal vote.

Members representing older, male and white voters should receive ballots by the end of the week. Expect the result on September 5.

After a very open start to the campaign and the reservation of five votes for party MPs alone to choose the two finalists, the suspense seems to be over.

Rishi Sunak, 42, who has been praised for his work during the Covid-19 pandemic, is less popular among the party base.

Rallies are seen multiplying, with favorable polls following the first televised duels against former finance minister Liz Truss, 47, who promises massive tax cuts.

So Nadim Zahavi, the current finance minister, declared in favor of the diplomatic chief on Monday, reckoning in the columns of the Daily Telegraph that she would “overturn hard economic conservatism and steer our economy conservatively”.

Brandon Lewis, the former minister responsible for Northern Ireland, joins an already well-stocked line-up of party leader Tom Tugendhat’s unsuccessful candidate MP, notably Defense Minister Ben Wallace, who is well-respected within the party. “Experience” in wartime Ukraine.

– “stabbed in the back” –

“The race is very, very tight and I’m fighting for every sound”, assured Liz Truss despite everything this weekend.

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Although she appeared stiff and uncomfortable during some of the debates in the early stages of the competition, she appeared more relaxed and confident in the later days as Rishi Sunak relied on her speaking skills to hold her back.

She emerged stronger Thursday evening from the first of 12 grand verbal series against conservative activists.

The second such exercise is scheduled for Monday evening in the city of Exeter in south-west England.

An activist accused Rishi Sunak of “stabbing in the back” of the Prime Minister, fueled by the hatred of the Johnson camp. His resignation helped trigger an avalanche of government departures that left Boris Johnson with no choice but to announce his departure after months of scandals, chief among them the parties held in Downing Street during the heavy lockdown that Britain has sacrificed.

From the start of the domestic campaign, where environmental issues were barely mentioned, the two finalists were largely opposed to the tax.

On the one hand, Liz Truss is promising to cut taxes without delay, and has announced a return to the increase in social security contributions introduced in the spring to finance the public health system strained by the pandemic.

Rishi Sunak cautions against “fairy tales” and warns that we need to wait for inflation to fade from 40-year highs before considering reducing the tax burden. However, the ultra-rich ex-banker recently sparked a turnaround by promising to cut VAT on energy and a 20% cut in income tax over seven years, which Camp Truss scoffed at, retorting that she would cut it. Her taxes are due in seven weeks.

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To woo the conservative base, he promised to tighten migration laws and, over the weekend, kicked off the culture wars, a favorite of the party’s right wing. He promised to stop “left-wing agitators” from “bulldozing our history, traditions and our core values”.

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