Attacks on her economic plans appear to be having some effect, but not enough to turn the tide in favour of Mr Sunak.

Analysis

Tory leadership race: Why Liz Truss looks unstoppable, and there’s little that Rishi Sunak can do

Conservative leadership candidate Liz Truss speaks at a hustings event, as part of the Conservative Party leadership campaign, in Belfast, Northern Ireland (REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo)

By Arj SinghDeputy Political Editor

Liz Truss looks on course to be next prime minister after the third poll of Conservative members in less than a week suggested she has a commanding lead over Rishi Sunak.

The latest YouGov poll, for Sky News, put the Foreign Secretary on 66 per cent to Mr Sunak’s 34 per cent.

It comes after a ConservativeHome survey on Wednesday gave Ms Truss a 32-point lead and an Opinium poll for the observer put her 22 points ahead.

Mr Sunak’s team have repeatedly publicly doubted the accuracy of the polls, suggesting it does not reflect what is happening “on the ground” of the Tory leadership race, where the former chancellor is meeting thousands of members.

The Sky poll does show a narrowing in the race among the 38 per cent of Tory members who have yet to vote, with Ms Truss’s lead cut to 15 per cent.

This shows that repeated attacks on Ms Truss’s tax plans, warning they will fuel inflation and leave a £50bn pound black hole in the public finances may be having some effect.

The Foreign Secretary may also have been damaged by an earlier U-turn on cutting public sector pay outside London.

But given that Mr Sunak’s critique on Ms Truss’s economic plans have had the backing of prominent experts, including the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the only conclusion is that not enough Tory members care about, or believe, that her tax cuts could fuel inflation and strain the public purse.

It is now difficult to see what could throw Ms Truss’s march to No 10 off course, barring an unforced error of utterly catastrophic proportions.

She is now under pressure to announce how she would help the poorest and pensioners with energy bills this autumn.

But it appears her deliberate vagueness will be enough to carry her to Downing Street.

With her emergency Budget scheduled for 21 September, her economic plans coming into contact with both the Treasury and voters will prove a tougher challenge.

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