Kemi Badenoch to beat all three Tory leadership rivals, says snap poll

Kemi Badenoch is among the final four contenders for the Tory leadership (Picture: Peter Macdiarmid/LNP)

Kemi Badenoch could beat all three rivals in the race for the Conservative Party leadership according to a snap poll.

Ms Badenoch is running against former chancellor Rishi Sunak, Liz Truss and Penny Mordaunt to replace Boris Johnson as prime minister.

The YouGov poll of party members is bad news for Mr Sunak, who faces losing to whoever he faces in the final round.

Voting is currently underway to whittle the candidates down from four to three – with the result expected at 3pm this afternoon.

YouGov head of data journalism, Matthew Smith, said: ‘Our previous survey had Penny Mordaunt as the firm members’ favourite, beating all comers by wide margins.

‘Mordaunt’s lead has since been lost, with the trade minister now finding herself on 42% to Liz Truss’s 48%, and on 43% to Kemi Badenoch’s 48%.

‘Both of these head to head results are within the margin of error, but this will come as little comfort to a candidate who last week was at least 15pts ahead of her nearest rival.’

The survey of 725 Tory party members was conducted on Monday and Tuesday.

Ms Badenoch, pictured third from left, could beat all her rivals, a snap poll suggests

When asked who they would prefer as the next Conservative Party leader between Ms Badenoch and Ms Sunak, the MP for Saffron Walden in Essex received 56% of the votes while the former chancellor only got 34% – with a tenth ticking the ‘don’t know’ box.

The same question saw Mr Sunak receive 35% of votes compared to Ms Truss’ 54%.

He got 37% of votes when pitted against Ms Mordaunt, who received 51 – while 12% were unsure.

Ms Badenoch won the backing of 48% versus 43% when compared to Ms Mordaunt.

Some 46% of party members said they would choose the former equalities minister against 43% for Ms Truss.

The poll indicates the fight for the keys to Downing Street is still wide open – despite predictions Ms Badenoch will be eliminated at this afternoon’s vote.

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She scored 58 votes, the second lowest number in yesterday’s ballot, relegating ex-soldier Tom Tugendhat from the competition after he won just 31 backers.

Mr Sunak came out on top with 115 votes – putting him comfortably in the lead to make the final round – followed by Mordaunt on 82 and Truss on 71.

Money saving expert Martin Lewis today warned the leadership candidates must take urgent action over what he described as a ‘financial timebomb’ due to explode in September.

‘The Conservative party leadership candidates, one of whom will soon become our prime minister, need to know how stark things will be on the day they take office,’ he said.

‘Those candidates in truth are the only ones with a chance of diffusing that catastrophe.’

This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.

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