Final two candidates for UK PM are Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss

Former finance minister Rishi Sunak and foreign secretary Liz Truss will compete to become the next prime minister of the United Kingdom after winning the last lawmaker vote to succeed Boris Johnson.

Sunak has led in all rounds of voting among Conservative parliamentarians. Still, Truss currently appears to have the upper hand among the 200,000 members of the ruling party who will finally decide the winner.

Sunak, a former Goldman Sachs banker who has hiked taxes to their highest level since the 1950s, will face Truss, a Brexit convert who has pledged to lower taxes and regulations, in the closing stretch of a weeks-long campaign.

Whoever wins when the election results are announced on September 5 will inherit some of Britain’s most difficult situations in decades.

The annual inflation rate is on track to reach 11%, the economy is slowing, industrial action is rising, and the pound is close to all-time lows against the dollar.

The United Kingdom, under the leadership of Johnson and with the assistance of Truss, took a firm stance against Brussels in its post-Brexit negotiations for Northern Ireland, provoking legal action from the European Union and endangering future economic links.

Penny Mordaunt, the junior trade minister, was eliminated in the fifth and final vote of Conservative parliamentarians on Wednesday. Initially, eleven individuals were considered for the position. Sunak received 137 votes, compared to 113 for Truss and 105 for Mordaunt.

According to polls, Truss would defeat Sunak in the party members’ election, creating the possibility that the Conservatives would install a leader who was not the most popular candidate among legislators.

Truss congratulated a few legislators outside of parliament shortly after the results were announced. But, she told reporters, “I’m in it to win it.”

She said, “As prime minister, I would strike the ground running on day one, unite the party, and rule according to Conservative principles.”

Sunak stated on Twitter: “I am thankful that my coworkers have placed their confidence in me today. I will labor night and day to promote our nationwide message.”

Mordaunt trailed Truss by only eight votes and urged the party to unite after a frequently acrimonious leadership election.

“Politics is difficult. It can be a controversial and challenging location, she stated.

“We must now all work together to unify our party and concentrate on the tasks at hand.”

Hustings

The two finalists will begin weeks of campaigning around the nation in front of the party’s membership.

Chris Hopkins, the director of political research at the polling firm Savant ComRes, described this as one of the most surprising contests for the next Conservative leader in recent memory.

In recent battles, a clear favorite has run away with the victory.

The hostility between the contenders also raises the question of how effectively any new leader will be able to rule, given Johnson’s continued popularity among many in the party and country and the party’s rising fragmentation into multiple sections.

After months of controversies, including violations of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown regulations, Johnson was forced to resign after losing the support of his legislators.

Sunak, who helped manage the economy through the pandemic, may not find a forgiving audience among party members since many blame him for Johnson’s demise by resigning last month.

He has also been criticized for everything from his political record to his wife’s fortune.

Truss may struggle on the campaign trail against Sunak, who is more at ease in public. She conceded on Sunday that she may not be the “slickest presenter” but that “when I say I’ll do something, I do it.”

When many sectors of the state fail to function, the election has thus far centered on pledges or non-promises to lower taxes, along with defense spending, energy policy, Brexit, and social concerns such as transgender rights.

With both candidates holding top positions in Johnson’s administration, it may be difficult for them to position themselves as a new beginning.

Hopkins, a pollster, stated that a new party leader “usually receives a slight lift in the polls, but it will be difficult to regain support because this government has been severely wounded.”