Just over a week till Truss moves into Number 10

Just over a week till Truss moves into Number 10

We need to reserve judgment

We have just gone through a leadership campaign in which the two contenders have made a series of extraordinary statements about their views and policies and what they would do if they actually entered number 10. They have, of course, been trying to appeal to a very specific audience – Tory members.

Those who follow the regular ConservativeHome ratings of leading party politicians will know that even before the contest Truss has generally been quite near the top of the monthly tables when it comes to satisfaction levels amongst this group. She clearly has been saying or doing things that resonate with those that make the final decision.

Assuming that the polling has this right then from a week tomorrow she has to have a broader appeal if she wants her party to hang onto power at the next election. Can she do it? I think she has a big challenge not least because the Tories have been in power for so long.

Let’s recall that at GE2019 the Tory GB vote total was 45% which is about 13 ahead of where they are at the moment in the polls. Labour, of course, was led by Corbyn and much of the Tory campaign was warning of the dangers of letting him in. Starmer is a completely different proposition and the standard Tory general election technique of demonising the LAB leader is not going to work as well. Most polls now have 10% or more of the GE2019 Tory vote going to LAB.

This is the challenge facing Truss but I think those who are writing her off are making a mistake.

Mike Smithson

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