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Conservative Leadership Hopefuls Face 'Red Wall' Hustings

UK

The two hopefuls for the Conservative leadership, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, face the fifth hustings of the lengthy members voting period in the 'red wall' town of Darlington this evening.

  • The so-called red wall is a number of constituencies in northern England that, having been held by the centre-left Labour party for decades or in some cases over a century, were won by outgoing PM Boris Johnson's centre-right Conservatives in 2019.
  • Retaining these seats is likely to prove crucial for the next Conservative leader if they wish to retain a majority in the next general election. While the general assumption is that a major focus in these seats are socially conservative issues as well as ensuring a hard Brexit is protected, recent polling shows that, like other areas of the UK, voter concerns now largely revolve around economic issues, particularly inflationary pressures faced by households.
  • Right-winger Truss, who has run a campaign based on cutting taxes swiftly after taking office, remains in the lead in Conservative party member opinion polls and the strong favourite in betting markets. Data from Smarkets shows Truss with a 90% implied probability of winning the contest, to Sunak's 10%.
  • The Darlington hustings takes place 1900-2100BST.
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The two hopefuls for the Conservative leadership, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, face the fifth hustings of the lengthy members voting period in the 'red wall' town of Darlington this evening.

  • The so-called red wall is a number of constituencies in northern England that, having been held by the centre-left Labour party for decades or in some cases over a century, were won by outgoing PM Boris Johnson's centre-right Conservatives in 2019.
  • Retaining these seats is likely to prove crucial for the next Conservative leader if they wish to retain a majority in the next general election. While the general assumption is that a major focus in these seats are socially conservative issues as well as ensuring a hard Brexit is protected, recent polling shows that, like other areas of the UK, voter concerns now largely revolve around economic issues, particularly inflationary pressures faced by households.
  • Right-winger Truss, who has run a campaign based on cutting taxes swiftly after taking office, remains in the lead in Conservative party member opinion polls and the strong favourite in betting markets. Data from Smarkets shows Truss with a 90% implied probability of winning the contest, to Sunak's 10%.
  • The Darlington hustings takes place 1900-2100BST.