Who’s Backing Who: Tuesday Morning State of Play

There’s not really much to add if you kept up with last night’s genuinely interesting knock-out stage. Team Rishi are happy and agreed that his 14 MP rise was more than expected. Penny dropping by one MP will scare newly-freed Tugendhat backers that her campaign is stalling – her backers’ social media output this morning desperately appears to be trying to counteract this. For Kemi and Liz, the battle for new backers will be a hell of a scramble. 

Kemi rose by more than Liz yesterday – +9 to her +7 – though that means they both have momentum. Where Tom’s votes go is important – it’s almost guaranteed Rishi gets at least five of his 31 to get him over the required 120 line – though it may also be the case Penny has to work hard to keep her own 81 backers on-side. It seems like the two debates over the weekend did have an impact, especially for Sunak, who was spotted on the Terrace with MPs last night…

Talking of debates, you’ll know we don’t have one today. Rishi and Liz both pulled the plug on tonight’s Sky debate yesterday, over concerns of the blue-on-blue attacks beginning to damage the party. It wasn’t long before Sky scrapped it entirely. Instead what we do have to look forward to is a much more sociably-timed knock-out stage, with the voting taking place between 12-2pm, and the results announced at 3 pm – and then an evening off. In many ways, Guido thanks Rishi and Liz for their tireless work dodging TV scrutiny…

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