Mr Sunak is desperate to mend the growing rift that has emerged between him and the Secretary of State, and Ms Truss is determined to keep her early gains
Tory leadership hopefuls are set to bid their bids before a live audience of around 100 on Monday night as bitter clashes erupted over the weekend.
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will face their first live head-to-head TV debate tonight as they both try to convince the Conservative Party base that they are the right person to choose Britain’s next Prime Minister to become.
Pledges to immigration, China and tax cuts have seen the two candidates get personal as they attack each other’s policies.
The infighting, which has emerged after Tory MPs raised concerns that earlier campaign debates had shed too much light on blue-on-blue attacks, has led to calls within the party to tone it down.
But with Mr Sunak desperate to mend the growing rift that has emerged between him and the Foreign Secretary and Ms Truss determined to keep her early gains, the clashes could continue through the rest of the summer.
here I takes a look at what to expect from today’s TV debate and what else is in store for us this week.
The first head-to-head debate will take place on Monday evening at 9 p.m.
It will be broadcast live on BBC 1.
Our next Prime Ministerpresented by Sophie Raworth, takes place in Stoke-on-Trent to an audience of 80 to 100 people.
It is held in this part of the country because it is one of the constituencies that the Conservatives won for the first time in the last general election in 2019.
The BBC believes hosting the debate here will provide a clear measure of the success or failure of Boris Johnson’s successor and whether they can hold on to the seats they won when he was their leader.
The first TV debate is at stake for both candidates as they seek to show the country that they are in a better position to run the country.
The race, now in the hands of Tory party members, is crucial to endearing himself to potential supporters.
Although leadership talks will be held across the country in the coming weeks, not all members will have the opportunity to meet the candidates in person and get a sense of their priorities.
As a result, the debates will prove to be an important platform for the candidates.
“It is so important. Every party member will see the debate, hear reports of it, hear snippets of it or get a sense of who won it,” a Tory MP told the BBC.
Although the fate of the candidates is in the hands of the Tory base, how the couple fares in the eyes of the British public could easily sway the race.
This is because leading pollsters will be polling the broader electorate on how the candidates have fared and who their preferred candidate for the post of next prime minister is.
The results of these polls will have an impact on party members, and Team Sunak hopes the result will help turn the tide in their favor.
Ms Truss has emerged as an early frontrunner, although Mr Sunak has led the earlier vote among Tory MPs.
The vast majority of polls and polls of Tory party members suggest the Foreign Secretary is a step ahead of her opponent at the moment.
A YouGov poll of Tory members conducted on July 20-21 suggests Ms Truss is way ahead of the former Chancellor.
The results showed that 31 percent of members intend to vote for Rishi Sunak, while 49 percent intend to vote for Liz Truss.
Another 15 percent do not currently know how they will vote, and six percent said they would abstain from voting.
That leaves a headline voting intent of 62 percent for Ms. Truss and 38 percent for Mr. Sunak, excluding those who are currently unsure or will not vote.