With the timing of Jake Wightman, Liz Truss has for the first time moved into a commanding lead in Betfair’s book. She is currently even money to win the election to be prime minister, her rival for the right wing slot, Penny Mordant is considered five or six times as unlikely to make it through today’s round. At one point yesterday, Truss became odds on to be our next Prime Minister.
Truss now odds on to be next prime minister pic.twitter.com/ksITwR1kEp
— Henry Tapper (@henryhtapper) July 19, 2022
There is a faint chance that both Mordaunt and Truss will make it through but that assumes that Sunak can’t hold onto his 118 votes and get the other two needed to secure his name goes to the party membership
So we will never know how the “third” candidate would have gone down in the shires and that third candidate is most likely Penny Mordaunt.
The dirtiest campaign ever
All three candidates have pledged to put clear blue water between themselves and the skullduggery of the Johnson administration. But they have gone about this will the same skulduggery.
Speaking to LBC Radio, former cabinet minister David Davis, who is backing Ms Mordaunt, said it was the “dirtiest campaign” he had ever seen.
“Rishi just reallocated some… He wants to fight Liz, because she’s the person who will lose the debate with him”
Heavy will hang the head that wears the crown, for they will have succeeded in the full glare of the camera, of social media and of public scrutiny. Even our own pension minister has been drafted in to publicise the diversity of the contestants. But the public is being left in no doubt that whoever wins, will be leading a party divided and divisive. This is not a good look.
So little is getting done
There is so much to be done in pensions. We need to get superfunds and CDC into play, we need a pensions dashboard, we need to extend auto-enrolment and we need to fix the state pension and reduce pensioner poverty through pension credits.
But there is no legislative urgency in this lead up to the summer recess and little sign of much action till we get a new regime in place in September. Pensions is only a small piece of the jigsaw. But to give one example of the current impasse, I am told that Richard Holden is now wanting to re-introduce his private member’s bill to accelerate the 2017 AE reforms but cannot get DWP support to do so as no new legislation can be considered during this interregnum.
There are so many distractions, there is so little energy. The political will is all being channelled into blood-letting within the ruling party. It is hard not to be depressed.
Who will win?
If you’ve been following this series of blogs you will have seen Penny Mordaunt move from first to last in the space of a week. Liz Truss has flip flopped from third to first.
All other candidates have dropped away and today we are likely to lose Mordaunt. Most commentators think that Truss will trump Sunak in the shires.
Whoever wins, the country is losing. Far from fighting the cost of living crisis, aggression in Europe and the unrelenting impact of a changing climate, the focus is on Tory party in-fighting.