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Sunak and Truss to go head-to-head for UK Conservative Party leadership

The race is now down to just 2 candidates - and 1 is set to become the UK Prime Minister.

With the elimination of Penny Mordaunt in the campaign to determine who will replace Boris Johnson as UK Conservative Party leader, and therefore Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will now face off for the coveted position.

In the final round of voting by Conservative MPs, Truss managed to oust Mordaunt from the second-place position. The Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs will now be competing with former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as Conservative Party members now have the opportunity to cast their vote for their preferred leadership candidate, which will determine the outcome of the race.

Truss, who has often been described as a Thatcherite, appears to have benefitted from the elimination of the anti-woke Kemi Badenoch in the previous round, with many of Badenoch’s supporters preferring Truss to her more moderate opponents, Sunak and Mordaunt.

Truss had also secured the vote of 15 of Tom Tugendhat’s 31 supporters when the latter was eliminated in the third round, and gained the endorsement of Suella Braverman, who was knocked out in the second round of votes.

Mordaunt performed poorly in the final round, only picking up 13 additional votes, for a total of 105. In contrast, Truss received a boost of 27 votes, almost half of Badenoch’s 59 supporters. This was enough for Truss to close the 6-vote gap between her and Mordaunt, overtaking the Minister of State for Trade Policy.

With another 19 votes, Sunak again came first, with a final tally of 137. With the endorsement of major party figures like Jeremy Hunt and Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, he is in a strong position, although whether those endorsements will help him win the support of party members remains to be seen.

The results of the stage of the campaign, when paying party members have the opportunity to cast their votes, will be announced on 5 September.

You can read the latest on the Conservative leadership race here.

Stuart Jeffery is a freelance researcher & digital editor for 6 News. His views on personal social media pages are his & his only, and do not reflect the views of 6 News or our journalists. He abides by 6 News' editorial standards relating to fairness & accuracy.

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