Campaign Update: Day 8

The breaking news this evening: Suella Braverman is out of the race after coming last with 27 backers. See the new Tory leadership spreadsheet here.

  • Will be relieved at having passed the 100 backers line. While merely symbolic, and not the 120 required to guarantee a final two placing, it’s a hurdle his team will have wanted to surpass.
  • However, Rishi is one of the weakest first-place candidates in recent Tory leadership elections, comparing leads in the second round of MP ballots:*
    • 1997 Ken Clarke 40.7%
    • 2001 Michael Portillo 30.1%
    • 2005 David Cameron 45.5%
    • 2016 Theresa May 60.5%
    • 2019 Boris Johnson 40.3%
    • 2022 Rishi Sunak 28.4%
  • Raised eyebrows using his old No. 11 email newsletter to send out campaign material, albeit entirely legally

*Hat-tip: Tom Harwood

  • Another day of good momentum for Penny, picking up an additional 16 new backers in today’s vote – the most of all candidates
  • Widened her gap over Liz to 19
  • Ran into problems and heightened scrutiny over her trans stance, not least with a blow from newly-eliminated Suella Braverman, who accused her of not standing up for women when pushing for gender-neutral language in the ministerial maternity leave bill
  • Accused of lying about her trans stance by Team Truss
  • Slammed by Lord Frost over her work ethic, telling TalkTV he had to ask Boris to move her on as his Brexit deputy due to sloppiness and lack of attention to detail on Northern Ireland
  • Rumours circulating SW1 that she’d appoint Andrea Leadsom as Chancellor should she win

  • Truss’s campaign launch day; Kwasi Kwarteng opened for her and further secured her reputation as ‘continuity Boris’
  • Hammered the point that she’ll pay for tax cuts by treating Covid debt as akin to ‘war debt’, paying off much more slowly than Rishi wants
  • May be somewhat put out by today’s vote-off figures, increasing by 14 to 64, though will hope a large swathe of Braverman’s backers switch to her ahead of Monday
  • Team may have a problem persuading Suella’s supporters that they have to fall in behind her to stop splitting the right wing vote. Should all Suella’s backers switch to Kemi, she’d leapfrog Liz in the competition
  • Video went viral on social media of her getting lost trying to find the door to leave her campaign launch.

  • Will be pleased with today’s result, increasing to a solid 49 backers
  • Is equally pleased that the government’s shelved the anti-free speech Online Safety Bill until after the Summer Recess – ironically thanks to the Labour-sparked Vote of Confidence next week. Her pleasure has caused a spat with Nadine Dorries.

  • Undoubtedly set to get knocked out next Monday, have fallen back from his high yesterday to just 32 backers – a decrease of 5 MPs
  • Vowed to fight on, and will take part in two debates between now and the next vote
  • Managed to have a full-on Thick Of It moment as Guido spotted his positioning at his 10am press conference made the branding read: “Tugendhat: A ____ Tart”. He took it in his stride

Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):

  • Penny Mordaunt: 8/13 (NC)
  • Rishi Sunak: 10/3 (3/1)
  • Liz Truss: 7/2 (5/1)
  • Kemi Badenoch: 20/1 (14/1)
  • Tom Tugendhat: 200/1 (20/1)
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