Michela Morizzo talks polls as Tory leadership race draws to a close
The Foreign Secretary is due to be unveiled as Boris Johnson’s successor at 12.30pm today, when the result of the Tory leadership election is finally announced. For six weeks, Ms Truss and her rival Rishi Sunak traveled the country to set out their different visions for the country.
An exclusive poll for Express.co.uk by TechneUK released on Friday at the close of voting showed the MP for South West Norfolk was close to winning with the support of 64% of Tory members, compared to 36% who would have supported Mr. Sunak.
While candidates will only find out who won the race for No 10 10 minutes before the result is public, Ms Truss has already started planning for her expected premiership.
After weeks of accusations of “zombie government”, the new Prime Minister will face extreme pressure to quickly bring a number of problems facing the country under control.
Polls for this website indicate that more than half of all voters want tackling rising energy bills to be the top priority for the new Downing Street resident.
READ MORE: MPs must now unite behind our new leader – EXRESS COMMENT
The next Tory leader will be announced at 12.30pm today
The TechneUK survey found that 52% of the public saw it as the number one problem facing the country.
However, the number drops to just 39% among Tory voters, with almost as many Tory supporters (36%) saying tax cuts must be the No. 1 issue for the new Prime Minister.
At the same time, hardline Brexiteers from the government backbenches in the House of Commons want swift action to take on the EU over the Northern Ireland Protocol.
A senior MP told Express.co.uk: “I wasn’t convinced by Liz Truss. But then she explained how she intended to handle the protocol. It was clear that she had understood.
“She’s made it clear that it’s a priority and I suspect she will get there.”
Read on for a full breakdown of the UK public’s priorities and Ms Truss’ plans.
Voters have different priorities for the new Prime Minister
Energy costs – 52%
Energy bills are expected to increase by 80%.
Last month regulator Ofgem confirmed average annual energy bills would rise to £3,549 a year from October 1.
As well as being voters’ top priority, the government has faced intense pressure to act to ease the pressure on Britons from a number of stakeholders.
Energy companies, charities, opposition political parties and Conservative backbenchers all want to see quick action on the crisis.
Yesterday Ms Truss pledged to present her plan to tackle rising energy bills ‘within a week’.
“I will make sure there is an announcement on how we are going to deal with energy bills and long term supply to put this country on a good footing for winter,” he said. she told the BBC on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg.
Liz Truss yesterday promised help with energy bills within a week
Tax reductions – 21%
More than one in five citizens believe that reducing the crippling level of taxes should be the next prime minister’s immediate priority.
National Insurance contributions have been increased to help fund social care and clear the NHS backlog, council tax has been increased, income tax thresholds have been frozen and income tax companies is expected to increase from April next year.
The reforms mean that by 2026 Britain is set to face its highest tax burden since the 1950s.
Ms Truss has pledged to reverse the National Insurance hike as part of an emergency budget and cancel a planned rise in corporation tax.
Increase in National Insurance
Ukrainian War – nine percent
Britain has been hailed by Ukraine as its closest ally in the war against Russia since Vladimir Putin ordered its barbaric invasion in February.
The UK helped lead international efforts to weaken the Kremlin’s efforts.
When Boris Johnson was ousted from office in July, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky admitted he was “very worried” about what would happen to British support in the future.
Almost 10% of those polled believe that standing firm against Moscow should be the new prime minister’s top priority.
Ms Truss pledged to break with the tradition of the Prime Minister addressing the White House on their first call to Number 10 to instead phone President Zelensky to reaffirm his support for Ukraine.
President Zelensky has admitted fears over UK support after Boris Johnson
Strike action – nine percent
Union barons have threatened to cripple the UK for months to come unless their workers receive substantial pay rises.
Over the summer, a number of unions staged walkouts to protest wage increases at a rate below inflation.
Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union general secretary Mick Lynch has led the industrial action, wreaking havoc on Britain’s public transport system on several occasions over the past eight weeks.
A hero of left-wing trade unionists, he declared that he would support a general strike across the country.
Ms Truss said in her first 30 days she would introduce legislation requiring minimum levels of service on critical national infrastructure during industrial action.
Mick Lynch said he would support a general strike
Achieve net zero – five percent
Climate change remains the priority of a minority.
As scientists warn temperatures are reaching dangerous levels, Britain has pledged to cut its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
However, critics have warned that the government has not drawn up a sufficiently detailed plan on how it will achieve the target.
Ms Truss says she remains committed to net zero but has set no plans for it.
Relations with the EU and attachment of the Northern Ireland Protocol
With Stormont’s power-sharing executive not sitting due to a row over the impact of the Northern Ireland Protocol, the EU Withdrawal Agreement remains the top priority for a small number of voters British.
Unionists warn that the integrity of the UK is compromised by the deal due to customs checks on goods crossing the Irish Sea to the province.
For nearly a year now, the government in Westminster has been trying to reach a compromise deal with Brussels over the friction caused by the international agreement.
With the EU refusing to budge on its position, pressure is exerted on the new Prime Minister to find a solution to the border frictions.
Ms Truss has promised to push through the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill through Parliament to give the UK the power to unilaterally suspend aspects of the deal.