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UK Conservatives end vote for new PM, Truss likely to win | Boris Johnson News

UK Conservatives end vote for new PM, Truss likely to win |  Boris Johnson News
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Voting ended in the Conservative Party leadership election, with Liz Truss widely expected to be crowned the winner next week Successor to Boris Johnson as the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

The Conservative members’ online and postal voting closed at 17:00 (16:00 GMT) on Friday after a two-month contest that saw the last two contenders tour the country, taking part in hustings and televised debates.

The results of the runoff election between Secretary of State Truss and former Treasury Secretary Rishi Sunak will be announced at 12:30 p.m. Monday, a day before the outgoing Johnson officially offers his resignation to Queen Elizabeth II.

Conservative Party leader Andrew Stephenson thanked both candidates for taking part in the often “grueling schedule in good spirits”.

“I know our party is ready to unite around a new leader and to address the challenges we face as the country of the future,” he said as the vote ended.

Voting by the estimated 200,000 Conservative Party members began in early August, a month after Johnson announced his departure from his government following a series of scandals and resignations.

Truss, 47, has consistently enjoyed overwhelming support for Sunak in member polls.

She has campaigned to cut taxes and prioritize economic growth above all else, just as the UK faces decades of inflation and is expected to enter a recession later this year.

“I have a bold plan that will grow our economy and provide higher wages, more security for families and top-notch public services,” Truss said in a statement, as the curtain closed on the often bitter race with her 42-year-old rival Sunak .

“If I am elected Prime Minister I will never allow anyone to belittle us and I will do everything in my power to ensure our great nation prospers.”

Sunak has attacked Truss’ plans as “reckless” and warned they risk increasing inflation and undermining the country’s standing in the eyes of international lenders and markets.

He has argued that his experience in guiding the country’s finances through the pandemic puts him in the best position to lead the UK in its current economic woes.

“We are facing great challenges, but also great opportunities,” said Sunak on Friday.

“I know what it takes to get through difficult times. I did it as chancellor and I will do it again as prime minister.”

“Better Politicians”

The Conservatives turned on their Brexit hero Johnson after months of battered controversy, favoring Sunak over Truss as the more electable leader to lead until the next general election in January 2025.

But the party’s grassroots have aligned with Truss’ right-wing platform, even though she is a former Liberal Democrat who opposed leaving the European Union in Britain’s 2016 referendum.

“She’s a better politician,” University of Strathclyde politics professor John Curtice told AFP after Truss stuck to a simple script during the long, hot summer of campaigning.

“Sunak has shown some of the qualities one would hope for in a good minister. But Miss Truss has demonstrated the qualities you need in a politician,” added Curtice.

But whoever wins, recent polls of broader voters show the Conservatives face a growing challenge to retain their 12-year grip on power.

The Labor Party has benefited from attacking Johnson’s ‘zombie government’ as the Conservatives have taken time to elect a new leader who has been gripped by power struggles despite the wider crisis.

The main opposition party now has a double-digit lead over the Conservatives in opinion polls as the economic landscape looks bleaker than it has since Margaret Thatcher was in power in 1979.

Millions say they face a painful choice between eating and heating this winter, with energy bills set to rise 80 percent from October — and again from January.

Truss has promised tax cuts, but critics say these would do nothing for the poorest.

She had previously denounced outright handouts but this week vowed to provide “immediate support to ensure people don’t face prohibitive fuel bills this winter”.

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