Tory leadership battle: Who is still in the running?
The five Tory leadership hopefuls Rishi Sunak, Penny Mordant, Liz Truss, Kemi Badenoch and Tom Tugendhat clashed on issues from Brexit to the cost of living crisis. Despite trying to present themselves as the most trustworthy candidate, both debates had contrasting winners, according to Express.co.uk readers.
In their first debate on Friday, July 15, Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy hosted 90 minutes of questions from a live audience.
READ MORE: Sunak and Truss spark chaos as Sky leaders debate CANCELLED
There was limited support for any of the candidates but sporadic applause was mostly directed towards Mr Tugendhat and Mr Sunak’s praise of an NHS worker in the audience.
At the end of the debate, the disdain towards politicians was clear as less than a dozen of the floating voters in the audience declared they had been persuaded to vote Conservative.
Liz Truss emerges victorious in second Tory leadership debate – ‘she gets results!’
Following the first leadership debate, Express.co.uk ran a poll from 9pm on Friday, July 15, to 8am on Saturday, July 16, asking: “Who won the first Tory leadership debate?”
Overall, 1,934 people responded and Mr Tugendhat came out on top with 31 percent (590 people) of the vote.
Former Chancellor Mr Sunak came second with 20 percent (379 people) and was closely followed by Ms Mordaunt with 19 percent (363 people).
In addition, Ms Badenoch received 14 percent (276 people) and Ms Truss 13 percent (257 people).
A further four percent (69 people) said they did not know who was the winner.
Channel 4 hosted an audience debate on Friday, July 15
On Sunday night ITV’s Julie Etchingham hosted an hour-long head-to-head debate with all candidates being more cutthroat towards each other with a series of personal attacks.
Ms Mordaunt and Ms Badenoch clashed on trans rights while three candidates attacked Mr Sunak on tax and spending.
All five hopefuls aimed to distance themselves from previous scandals in the Tory Party aiming to make a fresh start.
When asked if outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have a place in their cabinet none of the candidates raised their hands.
After the debate, Express.co.uk ran a poll from 8pm on Sunday, July 17, to 8am on Monday, July 18, asking: “Who won Sunday night’s Tory leadership debate?”
A total of 2,872 people cast their votes and the winner with 32 percent (912 people) of the vote was Foreign Secretary Ms Truss.
This was followed by Ms Mordaunt with 26 percent (734 people) and Ms Badenoch receiving 20 percent (577 people) of the vote.
In addition, Mr Sunak won the backing of 11 percent (326 people).
In contrast to his first debate performance, Mr Tugendhat received just eight percent (220 people) of the vote this time around.
Some four percent (103 people) said they did not know who their winner was.
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ITV hosted the second debate on Sunday, July 17
Hundreds of comments were left below both accompanying articles.
Many were in support of Mr Tugendhat winning the first debate with username trickyricky writing: “There was clearly only one stand out candidate, Tom Tugendhat who would make an excellent PM.”
Another, username klarapolzl wrote: “Tom Tugendhat – clear speech, honest answers and best overall performance.”
While the female candidates garnered the most support after the second debate.
Username Emma Lou wrote: “Liz truss I think, she’s right the missions she was given she did get results!”
Username ronfromyork wrote: “Kemi Badenoch is the one who may actually get things done.”
While username Covkid15 said: “Mordaunt has got them all panicked because she has the personality, fluency and intelligence people relate to.”
A third debate was due to be hosted by Sky News’s Kay Burley on Tuesday, July 19 but has now been cancelled due to two candidates declining to take part.
Sky News said in a statement: “Two of the three candidates currently leading in the MPs ballots – Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss – have confirmed to Sky News that they do not want to take part.
“Conservative MPs are said to be concerned about the damage the debates are doing to the image of the Conservative Party, exposing disagreements and splits within the party.”