Highlights

  • Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss remain in the race to be UK PM
  • Sunak topped 5th round of Tory MPs voting
  • Penny Mordaunt out of race after 105 votes

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It's Rishi Sunak vs Liz Truss in the race to be next UK PM

Sunak won the fifth and final voting round of Tory MPs with a resounding 137 votes, while second-placed Truss won the support of 113 MPs.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss will go head-to-head in the final stage of the race to be United Kingdon's next Prime Minister.

Sunak won the fifth and final voting round of Tory MPs with a resounding 137 votes, while second-placed Truss won the support of 113 MPs. Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt was knocked out of the race after coming in third with 105 votes.

The 42-year-old British Indian former Chancellor, who has topped every voting round so far, added 19 votes to his Tuesday tally of 118 and comfortably crossed the 120 MPs mark seen as the threshold to confirm a place in the final showdown.

Sunak and Truss are now set for their first head-on clash in a live televised debate scheduled on the BBC for Monday.

Wednesday’s final ballot ends an intense two weeks of voting rounds, which began last week with a shortlist of eight candidates including Indian-origin Attorney General Suella Braverman, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, former Cabinet ministers Kemi Badenoch and Jeremy Hunt and Tory backbencher Tom Tugendhat. They were knocked off the race one by one for that shortlist to be whittled down to just two who will now face the estimated 160,000 Tory members eligible to cast votes for their choice of party leader.

Sunak’s popularity within the Conservative parliamentary party does not seem to chime with the views of the wider membership base, which has shown favour towards his leading opponents. The most recent YouGov survey of 725 Conservative Party members over Monday and Tuesday showed Truss would beat Sunak by 54 per cent to 35 per cent, and Mordaunt would also beat him 51 per cent to 37 per cent.

There is also some concern that Sunak’s prospect to replace Johnson could be hit by Conservative Campaign Headquarters’ decision to send out those ballot papers early next month before the bulk of the campaign hustings have been held.

The focus will now shift towards those hustings as both candidates campaign to woo the Tory voters to cast those ballots in their favour.

with AP inputs

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