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5 September 2022

Liz Truss’s Tory leadership win is the narrowest under the current rules

Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Iain Duncan Smith all won by bigger margins than Truss.

By Ben Walker

Liz Truss is now the leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party and will be the next UK prime minister. She won 81,326 votes from Tory members to Rishi Sunak’s 60,399 on a turnout of 82.6 per cent.

But Truss’s margin of victory was smaller than some predicted. Indeed, it was actually the narrowest under the current Tory rules. 


Since the introduction of direct grassroots elections in 2001, every victorious candidate has won more than 60 per cent of the vote: Iain Duncan Smith in 2001 (61 per cent), David Cameron in 2005 (68 per cent) and Boris Johnson in 2019 (66 per cent).

Truss, however, only won 57 per cent of the vote. It means she enters office with less support than her predecessors, and in far more difficult circumstances. 

[See also: Is Keir Starmer ready to take on Liz Truss?]

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