Rishi Sunak is the most popular Red Wall politician, according to a poll
Rishi Sunak has proven to be the most popular ‘red wall’ politician as his closest rival to succeed Boris Johnson flew to Australia.
Liz Truss said she was holding talks on defense as Tory leadership rivals began jostling for the job.
The Foreign Secretary, a favorite among Tory campaigners, missed Prime Minister’s Questions – and is nearly 10,000 miles from Westminster as MPs plot to oust Johnson.
Truss’ avowed libertarianism has consistently propelled her to the top of popularity polls among conservative activists, who will choose the new leader.
The most recent survey by the ConservativeHome website gave him a +73 favor mark, ahead of the rest of the cabinet, and miles behind Johnson, who languishes at the bottom of the list at -34.
Red Wall likes Rishi
Sunak was in sixth place in this survey, at +49. But a new poll of Red Wall seats on Wednesday found he was the most popular politician among voters as a whole.
His favor rating in the main North and Midlands seats won by the Tories in 2019 is +22, making him the only senior Tory favored by more voters than detractors.
Truss, meanwhile, is at -7, while Johnson has slumped to -28, according to a survey by JL Partners for Channel 4 News.
Some 42% of Red Wall respondents said Sunak would be the best prime minister compared to 24% for Johnson.
The same poll puts Labor ahead by 11 points in the must-win seats.
The survey puts Sir Keir Starmer’s Labor party at 48% in the unavoidable part of the Northern seats – and the Conservatives at 37%.
This suggests that if an election were held now, the Tories would lose all but three of their Red Wall seats. Only Dudley North, Bassetlaw and Great Grimsby would remain Conservative.
The struggles of Partygate
The main reasons for waning government support in the region are Boris Johnson’s leadership and the ongoing scandal around anti-lockdown parties in Downing Street, a poll has found.
However, longer-term issues, including immigration and the cost of living, also play a role in turning voters away from the Conservatives.
Labour, meanwhile, are now seen as more competent and capable than the Tories – as well as less divided, Channel 4 News reported.
It comes as the Tories have fallen 32 points behind Labor in London as ‘Partygate’ devastates Johnson’s premiership.
The huge gap between Labor and Tories is the widest in a YouGov survey of the capital for 12 years, according to evening standard.
If replicated in a general election, it could see Johnson’s Conservatives lose eight seats in the City, leaving them with just 13 London MPs.
In another damning revelation, the poll showed two-thirds of Londoners think the Prime Minister should quit.
Four in five believe Johnson has not been honest in responding to Downing Street party reopening allegations, including 69% of Tory voters.
Related: Labor Climbs to 11-Point Lead in ‘Red Wall’ Amid Partygate Scandal