Campaign Update: It’s the Final Countdown…
Good Thursday morning. Voting closes at 5pm tomorrow evening. We’ve nearly made it.
The last hustings (finally):
- Last night saw the two candidates make their last pitch to Tory voters at the final hustings in London. As you can imagine, given it was the twelfth time they’d gone through this rigamarole, we got all the greatest hits one more time. Rishi’s mother might just be the most famous chemist in Britain…
- Momentarily interrupted at the outset by a lone protester clutching a “Don’t Pay UK” sign as he scurried in front of the stage. Thankfully, escorted out in near-record time…
- Attacked Sadiq Khan for being “anti-everything: he’s anti-car, he’s anti-business, he’s anti-opportunity.” Promised to “deliver” for London by, you guessed it, reversing the National Insurance hike, cutting corporation tax and scrapping green levies on bills.
- Claimed she’d “look at” abolishing speed limits on motorways.
- Gave an emphatic “yes” to the question of whether she could say “read my lips, no new taxes. Bookmark this page.
- Said she’d have bigger priorities than focusing on whether she’s being driven in a British-made Jaguar or a German Audi. Someone in the audience yelled “who cares”…
- Ruled out energy rationing.
- Got thunderous cheers from the Wembley Arena crowd. Significantly louder than Liz’s. Looks like London is more #Ready4Rishi than the rest of the country…
- A unifying tone from the off; none of the blue-on-blue barbs that had become a fixture of this campaign. Said “Liz is a fantastic Foreign Secretary, she is a terrific ambassador for our country”. Guido couldn’t help thinking it sounded a bit like a preemptive concession.
- Reiterated his plan to “tackle inflation” and tell people what they “need to hear” rather than what they “want to hear“.
- Did not, unlike Liz, rule out energy rationing. Instead, he said: “we shouldn’t rule anything out because the challenges that we face with this crisis are significant. And as many countries are looking at, how we can all optimise our energy usage, that is a sensible thing for us to be doing as a country.”
- “Guaranteed” inflation would fall faster under him than “anyone else“.
- Said it might be worth rethinking the format of future leadership contests, particularly the TV debates. Can we get this one over with first?
Bookies Odds (Previous in Brackets):
- Liz Truss 1/25 (nc)
- Rishi Sunak 9/1 (nc)