Fishy Rishi’s not going to win this and Tory members deserve a real choice, says Dan Wootton

The best thing, for the country and the Conservative Party, is for Sunak to drop out of the race

Published Last updated

So all week the usual suspects in the political establishment and the MSM, especially the BBC, ITV News and Sly News, have been trying to convince you that Rishi Sunak was the inevitable candidate to replace Boris Johnson as Conservative Party leader and thus become the Prime Minister of this great country.

As ever, they’ve been selling you a load of utter piffle cooked up in the Westminster bubble.

But, from the moment Boris was brutally deposed in that completely unnecessary coup, I’ve been telling you there’s zero chance Tory Party members – many of whom are horrified about the treatment of the Prime Minister – will elect the knife-wielding ex-Chancellor.

Sure enough, proof today from a YouGov poll of Conservative Party members who, let’s remember, exclusively decide who will be the next PM from a shortlist of two chosen by Tory MPs.

The survey stunned many in Westminster and the media, but not me, by showing Sunak will be absolutely thrashed by Penny Mordaunt and Liz Truss, and solidly beaten by Kemi Badenoch and even Tom Tugendhat.

Former Defence Secretary Mordaunt took a storming lead in that poll, thrashing every opponent amongst Tory members.

It backed up a similar poll by Conservative Home earlier in the week.

It was an almost perfect day of campaigning for Penny, whose campaign launch for the PM4PM campaign was described as the best ever by veteran Tory David Davis, who lost to David Cameron in the run-off back in 2005…

Tory grandees might think Sunak can win it, but he won’t.

So the party members should be given a real choice between Penny and Truss, who is emerging as the favoured candidate on the right of the party, especially amongst Boris supporters.

Although both Badenoch and Braverman remain in the race with significant support.

But Truss is making her case as the candidate of the Brexiteers, even though she reluctantly voted Remain in 2016.

In her first interview of the campaign with tomorrow’s edition of The Spectator magazine, she said: “If I could vote now, I would vote to leave the European Union. I was a reluctant Remainer.

"I was loyal to the Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, but since the referendum I’ve put my shoulder to the wheel in terms of delivering the opportunities of Brexit.”

And Jacob Rees-Mogg branded Sunak a “socialist”, revealing it was Truss who had tried to stop his high tax agenda in Cabinet. He wrote in an explosive Daily Mail column: “While the economy was at its most fragile, she opposed his plan to raise Corporation Tax by around 30 percent next year, which will deter investment and economic growth when we need it most.

"Sunak has squandered the Conservative Party’s decade-long efforts to build a competitive tax regime and it will be the French and the Americans who will benefit, instead of the British people.”

With the Sunak campaign’s dirty tricks continuing at full force, the pressure really is now on Braverman and Badenoch to unite with Truss in a dream ticket for the right.

As The Daily Telegraph’s Christopher Hope revealed tonight: “Wow! I am picking up pressure tonight from ERG sources for Suella Braverman, Liz Truss and Kemi Badenoch to merge campaigns and blow Rishi Sunak and Penny Mordaunt out of the water.”

What I’m convinced of is that the best thing, for the country and the Conservative Party, is for Sunak to drop out of the race.

Fishy Rishi’s not going to win this and Tory members deserve a real choice.