Poll of Con voters puts Sunak ahead of Truss

12 July 2022

Pollster Find Out Now and election experts Electoral Calculus have run a poll on the Conservative leadership race among the general public, including Conservative voters.

The poll asked GB residents which candidate they would prefer as leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister.

In summary:

Q. Which of these Conservative MPs is your preferred choice to be the new leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister?

We asked people whom they would prefer as Conservative leader and Prime Minister.

CandidatePercentage of
all respondents
Percentage of
CON voters in 2019
Rishi Sunak23%25%
Liz Truss10%18%
Sajid Javid7%9%
Penny Mordaunt6%8%
Tom Tugendhat8%7%
Jeremy Hunt7%6%
Suella Braverman4%5%
Nadhim Zahawi3%4%
Kemi Badenoch2%3%
Grant Shapps2%1%
Some other candidate27%15%

This table includes those who preferred "Some other candidate", but excludes those who didn't know (48pc of all voters; 38pc of Conservative voters) or preferred not to say (8pc of all voters; 4pc of Conservative voters).

Who do you prefer as new Conservative leader and PM? (Con voters)|

Our poll shows that Rishi Sunak has a clear lead at this early stage of the contest. As a former Chancellor of Exchequer he clearly enjoys good name recognition. Also his public profile from lockdown, where the Treasury spent large sums of money, seems to have left a relatively good impression with the public, including many Conservative voters. That seems to more than offset the negative publicity he received earlier in the year.

Also in a strong position is Liz Truss, the foreign secretary. She is trying to position herself as a natural heir to Thatcher with a more free-market economic approach. Despite having voted 'Remain' in the EU referendum, she is popular with 'Leave' voters – 17pc of Leave voters prefer her, compared with 20pc for Sunak.

The second table shows support for the candidates among (respectively) those who voted to 'Leave' at the EU referendum, and those who voted Labour or Liberal Democrat at the 2019 general election.

CandidatePercentage of
Leave voters
Percentage of
LAB+LIB voters in 2019
Rishi Sunak20%22%
Liz Truss17%3%
Sajid Javid7%7%
Penny Mordaunt8%5%
Tom Tugendhat5%15%
Jeremy Hunt6%12%
Suella Braverman6%1%
Nadhim Zahawi3%1%
Kemi Badenoch3%1%
Grant Shapps2%1%
Some other candidate23%29%

Table excludes those who didn't know or didn't want to express a preference.

Rishi Sunak is also popular with non-Conservative voters. Other candidates with cross-party appeal include Tom Tugendhat and Jeremy Hunt. More right-wing candidates are less popular with non-Conservative voters.


Chris Holbrook, CEO of Find Out Now: "It looks like former chancellor Rishi Sunak is benefiting from name recognition among ordinary voters, as his former boss used to. Rishi is probably the best-known politician in the UK after Boris. Whether that translates into votes from other MPs in the leadership race, we'll have to see."

Martin Baxter, CEO of Electoral Calculus: "Although it's early days in this contest, Rishi Sunak starts as the clear favourite with the public, Conservative voters and with the bookies. That Liz Truss is in a clear second place in our poll indicates how important economic issues could be in this election."

Technical Details

Find Out Now polled 2,019 GB adults online on 11 July 2022. The sample was weighted to be representative by gender, age, social grade, other demographics and past voting patterns. Find Out Now and Electoral Calculus are both members of the British Polling Council and abide by its rules.

Full tables can be downloaded here.