John Curtice explains why Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch are the real winners so far

John Curtice discusses Mordaunt and Badenoch

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Sir John Curtice has singled out Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch as the big winners of the Tory leadership contest so far. Speaking to GB News, the polling guru said that the two candidates have massively improved their profiles with the public in the course of the last week. Five Conservative MPs – Rishi Sunak, Ms Mordaunt, Liz Truss, Ms Badenoch, and Tom Tugendhat – are competing to become the new party leader, and therefore Prime Minister.

The polling expert told GB News viewers: “To be honest I really don’t think I know who is going to win this thing because the polling is not consistent.

“YouGov has shown strong support for Penny Mordaunt.

“But there is other polling out there, like ones done by Opinium and Unherd, that are not as favourable to Penny Mordaunt.

“It is clear however from polling of the wider public that Penny Mordaunt and Kemi Badenoch have improved their profiles the most with the public in the course of the last week.”

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However, Sir John added that Ms Badenoch and Ms Mordaunt “would become the least well-known Prime Minister in modern British history”.

He continued his analysis: “Penny Mordaunt is hoping to be the compromise candidate, bringing together those on the Brexit wing of the party and those not so convinced about Brexit.”

When asked for a prediction, he responded: “The next 72 hours will be crucial for Penny and Kemi’s chances.

“Rishi Sunak is not anywhere near as popular as he was before his scandals. But he is still a very effective public speaker.”

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Earlier today, Ms Mordaunt – who remains the bookies’ favourite to be the new PM – defended her record, after criticism from rival candidates.

She told the Daily Telegraph: “Look at my record, look at what I’ve done. I do get stuff done.”

Lord David Frost – who worked with Ms Mordaunt when he negotiated the UK’s exit from the EU – said he “would have grave reservations” about her as a leader.


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He told Talk TV: “I’m sorry to say this, she did not master the necessary detail in the negotiations last year.”

A new poll for the Sunday Telegraph suggested that Mr Sunak had the highest approval rating among Tory voters.

During a visit to Teeside today, Mr Sunak pledged that he will “get a grip of inflation” before cutting tax.

The former chancellor said inflation was the “number one economic priority,” adding: “Once we’ve done that, I will deliver tax cuts.”


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